Thursday, September 10, 2009

Efes Pilsen added size with Santiago

Efes Pilsen shored up its frontline by signing veteran center Daniel Santiago, who helped Regal FC Barcelona reach the Euroleague Final Four last season. Santiago (216, 33) is a veteran of four Euroleague seasons. He joined Unicaja in 2005 and played there for three seasons before moving to Barcelona last summer. Santiago averaged 6.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks for Barca in just 15 minutes per game. He also helped the club win the Spanish League crown. While at Unicaja, Santiago helped the club reach its first-ever Final Four and win its first Spanish League crown. Santiago was named the Euroleague's MVP for March in the 2006-07 season.

He spent this past summer playing for the Puerto Rican national team at the FIBA Americas Championships, where he averaged 6.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 10 games as Puerto Rico claimed a silver medal and qualified for next year's world championships, which will take place in Santiago's newest home, Turkey. Santiago played college basketball at the University of New Mexico and St. Vincent College and has played professionally in Puerto Rico for Vaqueros de Bayamon, in Italy for Pallacanestro Varese and Virtus Roma, in the NBA for Phoenix and Milwaukee and in Spain for Unicaja and Barcelona. Among his career highlights are winning one Italian League championship and two Spanish League crowns and a pair of gold medals at the 2001 and 2003 Central American Championships with the Puerto Rican national team.

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