Childhood best friends Trinidad and Manalang were almost teammates in FEU

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 11, 2016 07:58 PM
Best friends Trinidad, Manalang were almost teammates in FEU
MAGKABABATA. Now UAAP rivals, Jojo Trinidad and Robbie Manalang actually grew up together.

Far Eastern University starting pointman Jojo Trinidad and Adamson University court general Robbie Manalang played each other to a standstill on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Coming off an impressive initial outing, the Soaring Falcon only had eight points in 22 percent shooting this time around.

The Tamaraw wasn’t any better with just two points which he drew from the line. “I was trying to go at him (Manalang), but it didn’t work out too well. Coach Nash (Racela) wasn’t too happy,” he said in the post-game.

Apparently, their matchup meant more on a personal level as the two were, in our local language, magkababata. As Trinidad put it, “We’ve known each other since we were seven back in Anaheim, California.”

Manalang also said as much, “We’ve been playing together since we were young kids. We were family friends ever since.”

The 23-year-old Adamson pointman shared that it was actually his kababata who talked him into coming home to the Philippines. “I’ve seen him having a lot of fun here, playing basketball. I wanted to play basketball again and he gave me the idea to go here and play,” he said.

According to the 23-year-old FEU court general, his childhood best friend actually tried out to be his teammate first before ending up in San Marcelino. “I told him to try out in FEU so he tried out with us, but it didn’t work out for him. I guess he was too late,” he said.

Shedding some more light into the matter, Manalang said the Morayta-based squad failed to give him “a solid answer.” “Coach Nash told me he was going to give me an answer in a week, but I didn’t have enough time. I was only here for two weeks so I went with the school that gave me an offer right away,” he said.

He then continued, “That was Adamson.”

Even though they didn’t wind up to be teammates, the magkababata said they were still thankful to be able to share the same court again. “It was a good feeling to match up against him. It’s like we were back in California again,” he said.

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