Ateneo de Manila University secured the services of Filipino-American Paul Garcia to boost its roster for University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 men’s basketball tournament this September.,Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin and team manager Epok Quimpo made the announcement, saying that the former Salisbury University guard will be the latest addition to their team that is looking to reclaim the UAAP title next season.,Garcia, who campaigned in Division III of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association, will fill the void created by the departure of SJ Belangel, who forfeited his final playing year to join Daegu KOGAS Pegasus in the Korean Basketball League.,Garcia, whose parents Fernando and Rita both came from Metro Manila, said he is excited to play for Ateneo, which is his favorite team growing up.,“I’m excited. It feels like a dream come true and it’s something I wanted to do. To go back to the Philippines and it is something I always tell my friends that I wanted to do,” Garcia said.,“I’m happy. I can’t wait to get started and fulfill the expectations and pass them.”,Getting used to the Filipino brand of play will not be hard for Garcia.,In fact, the former Seagull actually teamed up with Houston Rockets standout Jalen Green during the National Basketball Training Center in 2018 in which they battled the likes of Dave Ildefonso, Geo Chui and Kai Sotto.,Now, he will be teaming up with Ildefonso, Tiu, Forthsky Padrigao and naturalized player Angelo Kouame in a bid to reclaim the UAAP title taken away by University of the Philippines in Season 84.,In his last year in Salisbury, Garcia averaged 4.0 points on 34.5 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent conversion from the three-point area.,He is tipped to join the Blue Eagles later this month and will suit up in the World University Basketball Series in Tokyo from 9 to 11 August.,Baldwin said he is excited to have Garcia on board as he will bolster their backcourt that was depleted following the departure of Belangel, Gian Mamuyac, Tyler Tio, BJ Andrade, Raffy Verano and Jolo Mendoza.,“This is a significant signing to us in light of what has happened last year with our graduations and then the unexpected exodus of SJ Belangel,” Baldwin said.,“Bringing Paul in, he’s not just a very, very dynamic point guard but a very well-rounded guard.”
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