By Adrian Stewart Co
Negrense guard Kenji Cañete is set to fulfill his dream of playing in bigger leagues in Manila after being named as part of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Squires.
The Isabela, Negros Occidental-native Cañete said he was thankful to be given the opportunity to play for the Squires in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Juniors basketball this year.
“I am very much thankful to be given this rare opportunity to represent and wear the colors of Letran in the NCAA,” the 6-footer Negrense guard told Watchmen Daily Journal on yesterday.
“I am looking forward to joining the team and learning from (Squires head) coach Raymond (Valenzona). I know he can help me improve my game further and mold me to become a better basketball player,” he added.
Prior to moving to the Squires, Cañete previously played for Isabela West Elementary School in Negros Occidental before being recruited to play for Chiang Kai Shek College Blue Dragons in Manila.
“It was in Grade 7 when I was recruited by Chiang Kai Shek College from Isabela West. I stayed until Grade 10 then I tried out with the Letran Squires and luckily I was accepted,” Cañete said.
“Just like when I was still with Chiang Kai Shek, I can promise to give my all in every game with Letran. All the hard work and hustle just to help the team win in NCAA,” he added.
Cañete is just one of the rookies in Squires roster aside from Edward Daquioag, Abern Mercado, Jimboy dela Cruz, Emmanuel Pizarro, Jordy Reguera, Ahmad Atiyeh, Joseph Pangilinan, Gyllien Esguerra, Justine Bautista, Arthur Roque, Joshua Miclat, and Carlo Ferreras.
Among the veterans in the lineup of Valenzona, meanwhile, are Shawn Argente, Kenneth Lim, Charles Saure, Ralph Cauguiran, Oliver Flauta, Kyle Tolentino, and Stacey Tibayan.
The Squires are aiming for a better showing in the NCAA Season 96 if ever it pushes through this year after finishing at seventh place in Season 95 two years ago with an 8-10 win-loss slate./ASC, WDJ