Ball is not the only life for Engr. Jett Manuel
ENGINEER-ATHLETE. Jett Manuel. UP Fighting Maroon. Team captain. Engineer. (Photos courtesy of Jett Manuel)
Following a glorious final go-round in the UAAP, Jett Manuel could have kept on opening eyes in the PBA D-League.
Only, he didn’t.
Instead, the University of the Philippines men’s basketball team captain turned his attention to something far away from the basketball court.
It would be hard to argue with his decision as now half a year after his last game as a Fighting Maroon, he is a licensed civil engineer.
Manuel was among more than 2500 people who passed the May 2017 Board Exam for engineers, according to the Professional Regulatory Commission.
I did it. • This experience changed me. And changed how I look at so many things. People may think it's just an exam. But for those who prepare. And actually take it. And everything that it pertains.... man... Haha. I've never prepared so hard for anything in my life. There are soooo many people that helped me along the way. My family. @avm911 @juanv_manuel @joaqman6 @issalagman. Of course @karlavreyes ever supportive. My close friends. Damn. Too much to say. But again. It's done now. And you know what..... for the next couple of weeks.. call me, • ENGINEER JETT MANUEL!!!!
And of course, the 23-year-old was overjoyed at how all his patience and perseverance – more than four months of reviews, at that – was worth it. “I don’t think it’s completely sunk in yet, but right now, I just feel like the happiest man alive,” he expressed on Friday, a day after the results were posted
Much like how the lowly years of State U didn’t stop him from leading its return to relevance last season, Manuel also didn’t let the difficulty of being a student-athlete stop him from his dream of affixing “Engineer” to his name. “I’ve always set that goal for myself even before starting to play college ball,” he said.
He then continued, “That’s why I took civil engineering in UP in the first place. Being a licensed civil engineer was always one of my dreams.”
Yet again proving his humility, the amiable youngster said he always believed that his skills were never going to translate into sure things on the court. “What if I don’t get drafted? Or what if I won’t be lucky enough to play long enough in the PBA,” he shared.
He also added, “At least, I now have something to fall back on.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that the new civil engineer is giving up on his PBA dream. “I can finally focus on basketball again. I’m gonna focus on preparing my body and mind naman for the PBA,” he expressed.
He then continued, “The ultimate goal was always to get drafted in the PBA.”
With this year’s rookie selection process slated for October, Manuel still has a lot of time on his hands.
And for now, he is yet to determine how he would be preparing himself. “I’m honestly not sure yet. I’m still weighing which will be best moving forward,” he said.
Whatever he decides on, the pride of Diliman will undoubtedly be one of the names to keep in mind in a draft pool that may include the likes of Rey Nambatac and Jeron Teng.
And whether or not it works out on the court, Manuel can rest assured that he will always be an engineer once he steps off of it.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.