Once Most Improved, Manuel now surprising UP’s surprising go-to-guy
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 09, 2015 06:07 PM
REMEMBER ME? Former Most Improved Player Jett Manuel is making a name for himself once again after a two-year absence.
As fate would have it, the University of the Philippines’ return to relevance looks to be hinged upon Jett Manuel’s return to relevance.
After bagging the Most Improved award in Season 74, Manuel struggled in his succeeding season before taking a two-year hiatus from the Fighting Maroons. “I got an opportunity to train in the US so I grabbed it,” he told ABS-CBN Sports.
While the Diliman community may have had difficulty comprehending his decision, the now 22-year-old said all of it was actually for his team. “I can help the team more if I better myself,” he said.
The now fourth-year player clarified he always planned to go back and represent his alma mater once more. In his return, Manuel has not disappointed those expecting more and more from him.
Manuel has been at the forefront of UP’s 2-0 start – their best in a decade. Many assumed team captain JR Gallarza will be the featured player or youngster Diego Dario will be taking over, but instead, the season hosts have been turning to their returning player when the going gets tough.
Alongside solid numbers of 10.5 points, five rebounds, and three assists through two games, Manuel also exhibited much confidence by saying, “It feels good that coach has the confidence in me to be his go-to-guy. It’s not like I’m surprised though because I worked hard for this.”
Even with such confidence, however, the Maroons’ newfound go-to-guy still deflected credit back to his teammates. “Even if I’m the go-to-guy, we wouldn’t have been winning wihout my teammates,” he said.
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