CEBU has produced some of the top big men in the PBA today, bannered by six-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel and JR Quinahan of NLEX.
Lapu-Lapu City's Santi Santillan is looking to follow that long line of bigs from the south as he tries his luck in the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.
The 6-foot-4 banger is unmindful of the pressure knowing what he can provide for any team who takes a gamble on him.
"Hindi naman nakaka-pressure sa part ko kasi sa akin lang, iniisip ko lang na kung kaya nilang lumaro sa PBA, kaya ko rin," he said.
Santillan can back up his words.
From his time in the University of the Visayas to his two-year run in La Salle, the 24-year-old has proven time and again that he's one of the most hardworking forwards there is in the amateur ranks.
That toughness was further bolstered in his stints in the PBA D-League where he played for Marinerong Pilipino, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League with Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines, and in Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 where he became the no. 6-ranked 3x3 player in the country.
Santillan is just as hardnosed as they come, yet he's realistic to acknowledge that it's still too early to compare himself to the aforementioned Cebuanos, both still in the league.
"Mahirap sundan yung mga na-achieve nila sa PBA, pero masaya na ako na makalaro sila o makakampi," he said.
One thing's clear to him, though: any team who selects him could expect nothing but his best every single game.
"Hindi ako yung tipo ng tao na nangangako. Ako yung player na gagawin ang best para manalo ang team," he said. (RL)