Manuel on UP’s skid: ‘We’re still learning how to win’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 21, 2015 11:01 AM
Manuel on UP’s skid: ‘We’re still learning how to win’
TRUST IN THE PROCESS. Jett Manuel and UP are still learning how to be a legitimate contender.

Following a hot 2-0 start, the University of the Philippines has cooled off and has suffered back-to-back losses in the UAAP 78 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

While quite painful for the long-suffering Diliman community which finally had reason to hope after a long time, team veteran Jett Manuel reminded everyone that the Fighting Maroons are still on a learning process. “We’re still learning how to win. We have to mature fast, but it’s a process right now,” he said.

Indeed, maturity was the biggest difference between UP and their most recent tormentors Far Eastern University. Perfectly illustrating the gap between them was first-year player Cheick Kone’s decision to turn what was already a highlight of a fastbreak dunk into a blooper of a missed transition layup.

Such mental miscues are the exact reason why head coach Rensy Bajar always tells his wards to obey his so-called 24-hour rule. “We have a 24-hour rule. Whatever happens sa game, panalo o talo, we’ll talk about it today then we’ll talk about our next opponent tomorrow,” he said.

In the same light, the first-year mentor has also urged his boys to stay away from the feeling that they already achieved something with their surprising 2-0 start. “Kelangan maramdaman muna yung sakit ng pagkatalo kasi yung overconfidence, hindi dapat pumasok sa isipan namin,” he said.

He then continued, “Alam niyo naman saan nanggaling UP. Kelangan every game is a motivation for us.”

The good news is that, according to Bajar, the Maroons have stayed as an upbeat unit in the midst of a two-game losing skid. “Together pa rin kami. This is the time na pinaka-kelangan namin maging together,” he said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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