THE Santi Santillan-Anton Asistio connection remains all the way to the PBA.
The two former amateur teammates found themselves landing in the same team again after being tapped by Rain or Shine as part of the group of rookies it hauled in the recent draft.
Santillan was a first round pick of the Elasto Painters at no. 5, while Asistio was taken in the second round at no. 22.
The two had already been signed by Rain or Shine management prior to the suspension of group practices following the rise in cases of COVID-19.
The 6-foot-4 Santillan from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu inked a three-year contract, while Asistio was given a one-year deal.
Both Santillan and Asistio go a long way.
Although belonging to rival schools La Salle and Ateneo, the two developed a strong bond playing together for teams such as Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League, Bataan Risers in 3x3 tournaments, and Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Now, they take their act together at Rain or Shine.
"Sabi nga ni Anton, sawang-sawa na siya sa mukha ko e," said Santillan in jest.
"Pero tuwang-tuwa ako na nakasama ko siya ulit."
Santillan and Asistio had already practiced together at Rain or Shine for just a couple of times before group workouts were ordered suspended by the league following the imposition of another round of lockdown within the NCR Plus.
"Ang nakasama ko pa lang sa practice yung rookies tsaka si Rey Nambatac. Puro drills pa lang kami," said Santillan.
"Si coach Chris (Gavina) wala pa siyang tinuturo sa amin." (RG)