Fil-Aus basketball export Royce Mantua helped the UST Growling Tigers in its historic win in the gold medal game of the UAAP Season 84 Men's 3x3 tournament.  The team has broken the draught as it has been 16 years for UST Men's basketball to win a championship since 2006 Season 69. The Growling Tigers won the title which took some time in the making against La Salle with a 21-20 final score.  The 3x3 was held in CaSoBe Resort, Calatagan Batangas during June 2-3, 2022.

The Growling Tigers defeated the University of the Philippines, 21-12, in the semifinals;  while La Salle advanced after winning over National University, 19-17, in their own semis.  The Growling Tigers’ Head Coach Jenino Manansala attributes the success of the team to also include the contributions of all who had been previously involved in it.

Twenty year old Royce Mantua from Sydney’s north western area of Beaumont Hills, wears Jersery No. 12 and plays in the Forward position in the Growling Tigers team.  He is on scholarship in the University of Santo Tomas - Institute of Physical Education and Athletics, undertaking Bachelor of Physical Education Sports and Wellness Management. 

Royce is currently in town to spend some quality time with his family:  his father and inspiration Coach Roger Mantua who is the Coaching Director of Royals Basketball in the western suburbs; mother, popular entertainer Cleo Diana; older brother Ridge who has come back to Sydney to pursue music after his stint in the Philippine basketball scene and his younger sister Rochelle who also plays basketball.  We were able to ask Royce a few questions.

What is it like being part of a significant win by the Growling Tigers?

It’s a really great feeling knowing that we worked hard to get that championship for UST, especially from the outcome of the regular season we showed everyone what we can still do.

Aside from the recent victory of the team, what have you enjoyed most in being part of the Growling Tigers?

The good side were my teammates, me entering a new team and meeting new teammates have been a good experience because we’ve come such a long way staying in the bubble for four months and our bond is indescribable.

On the flip side, what were the challenges or not so good parts you faced and overcame?

The most challenging parts were to train everyday having my muscles fatigued and all and i overcame that just by pushing myself and having to work harder than my teammates.

What is your advice to the young people who may be experiencing difficulties in the pursuit of their passion?

My advice is to stay focused and achieve every goal by taking the small steps first, you don’t always have to move forward right away it’s the process that counts.

When asked what are his future aspirations, Royce was quick to comment:

To play in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the National Gilas International Basketball Federation (FIBA). 

With his talent and passion for his sport, Royce is well on his way to reaching these aspirations. 



(Photos credits: UAAP Varsity Channe).


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