The University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers are in a rebuilding mode with the acquisition of Mohamed Tounkara, a 6’7” center from Mali, as reported by the school’s official student organ The Varsitarian.
Tounkara arrived on Sunday and was presented to Institute of Physical Education and Athletics director Fr. Rodel S. Cansancio, OP. on Monday.
Described as having a seven-foot wingspan, Tounkara was reportedly recruited by Tiger Cubs’ head coach Jinino Manansala and should be ready to suit up for Season 86 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
There was not much information about Tounkara, but the 19-year-old was said to have played FIBA-sanctioned tournaments in Mali.
He is set to join Willie Wilson as foreign student-athletes of the Tigers, whose last championship was in 2006 under then-rookie head coach Pido Jarencio.
UST is the second team, in a tie with the University of the East, with the most number of titles won in the men’s basketball tournament with 18 titles.
Far Eastern University is at the top with 20 titles.
Former Ginebra star Bal David has taken over the head-coaching post at UST, replacing Jino Manansala, and has been holding practices daily with the Tigers.
David, a former Ginebra player in the Philippine Basketball Association, was part of UST’s back-to-back champion team in the 1993 and 1994 seasons under coach Aric Del Rosario.