Manuel passes torch to Desiderio for UP’s bright future
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 27, 2017 05:38 PM
NEXT IN LINE. Jett Manuel trusts that his alma mater remains in good hands now under the leadership of Paul Desiderio.
Jett Manuel may not have had any taste of the playoffs, but he remains resting assured that it was mission accomplished for him when he wound up his six-year stint in the University of the Philippines.
“The sweetest farewell for me was seeing those supporters together and supporting the team,” he said.
Indeed, with their men’s basketball team’s best showing in a long while, the school spirit is now very much alive and well for State U.
And while he will no longer be donning the maroon and green, Manuel is adamant that there is still much to be excited about in the Fighting Maroons’ future, well, fight. “It looks bright. With Bright coming in, there will be better recruits that will come into the program din,” he expressed while beaming.
Without a doubt, with the impending arrival of Nigerian Bright Akhuetie along with the continued development of young studs Javi Gomez de Liano and Noah Webb, the hope for UP burns fierier than ever.
And although Akhuetie still has to sit out one year before being able to suit up for the Maroons, Manuel said that the next season remains to be can’t miss. All praises for Paul Desiderio, he said, “I know Paul and I think the expectations for him are fair. He’s a great player and I know he’ll live up to it.”
He then continued, “In terms of leading the team, Paul’s the right guy, right fit.”
Desiderio, State U’s first Mythical Team member in a decade, wants nothing more than to prove his former team captain correct as he gears up for his last year in the collegiate ranks. “Sana nga, mabigay ko yun sa team. Kasi I think ako na pinakabeterano sa UP so hopefully, maganda mapakita ko at namin,” he said.
The good news for the faithful over at Diliman is that the heir apparent to the throne of King Maroon is already exuding confidence. As he put it, “Sa ngayon, ready na ako kasi tine-train na rin ako ni coach Egay (Macaraya). Ako team captain ng CafeFrance (in the PBA D-League) so ready na ako sa role na yun.”
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