Filipino-Canadian guard Albert Opeña Jr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Filipino-Canadian guard Albert Opeña Jr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-Canadian guard Albert Opeña Jr. has committed to play for Ateneo in the UAAP Season 86.

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin on Wednesday welcomed another recruit in Opeña, who can make his debut in 2023 and will have four playing years of eligibility.

The 6-foot-2 played for St. Lawrence in the 2019-20 season of Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, averaging 8.2 points on 44.1-percent shooting including a 40.6-percent clip from deep to go with 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assist in 18 games.

“He’s a big guard and he’s got size. He’s very strong, well built, and he’s got quick feet and quick hands,” said Baldwin in a virtual press conference with team manager Epok Quimpo. 

“We like what his game presents and we think his unselfishness and physicality will fit well in our system. He’ll be a big asset for us moving forward,” he added.

Opeña migrated to Canada at age five with his father Albert Sr., who hails from Nueva Vizcaya, and Pasigueña mother.

The Blue Eagles remained formidable in the ongoing Season 84 men’s basketball tournament with a 12-0 record — two matches away from sweeping the elimations and an outright Finals ticket. 

But Ateneo, which won 38 straight UAAP games dating back to October 2018, continued to beef up its roster for the next seasons.

Two days ago, Baldwin welcomed 6-foot-7 Filipino-Aussie Mason Amos.

Both Amos and Opeña are expected to make their debut in 2023, as the Season 85 is set to open in September this year.

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