Manuel takes the cake to turn ‘sweet farewell’ into reality

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 15, 2016 05:26 PM
Manuel takes the cake to turn ‘sweet farewell’ into reality
KING MAROON. Having done so much in the return to relevance of UP, Jett Manuel was showered with much appreciation by the Diliman community.

When Jett Manuel said he wanted “that sweet farewell” in the last game of his collegiate career, a few fans from the University of the Philippines may have taken his words a little literally.

After his last game donned in maroon and white last Sunday, the Fighting Maroons’ team captain was surprised by four students as he exited the locker room.

There, the four Iskas gave him a cake. More than that, however, they gave him support of the warmest kind most student-athletes could only dream about.

Asked about their gesture, the students said they just wanted their graduating guard to feel how essential he has been in State U’s return to relevance. As Kate Berbano, one of his biggest believers, shared, “We just wanted something to give him because he has given us happiness this entire season.”

Indeed, it is undeniable that Manuel and his leadership have been driving forces behind UP’s run towards a 5-9 record – the school’s best in a decade.

Along with surprising success on the court, the 23-year-old’s biggest believers also hold him up to the highest standard of being a student-athlete. “Nalaman namin na aside from being a good player, he took civil engineering. Tapos he has a business,” Dianne Sibayan, another one from the four Iskas, said.

She then continued, “Parang he does everything na and we just admire him.”

For his part, Manuel said he remains in disbelief that once an anonymous player and part of a team that was once forgotten, he now ranks among the league’s most admired players. As he put it, ever humble, “It’s still surreal for me to see the outpouring of support, especially in my last game.”

UP’s #6 may have played his last game donned in maroon and white, but four of his biggest believers in Berbano, Sibayan, Koleen Enriquez, and Pia Magaoay said this is not the last he has seen of them. “Sa PBA naman,” an excited Berbano expressed.

She also added, “Basta we wrote him a dedication and we told him, ‘We’ll always root for you.’”

Unfortunately for Jett Manuel, he won’t be getting “that sweet farewell” anytime soon. With this sort of outpouring of support, this can only be the beginning for him.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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