Did you know? Ateneo’s double-double machine is actually Joaqui Manuel
Joaqui Manuel has as many double-doubles in the season as Kai Sotto
One player of Ateneo de Manila High School, at one point this season, had a streak of five straight games with a double-double.
It wasn’t 7-foot-1 Kai Sotto.
Rather, that impressive stretch belongs to Joaqui Manuel – the younger brother of former University of the Philippines star and now Ginebra rookie Jett.
Yes, the 6-foot-3 swingman has been a double-double machine for the Blue Eaglets – especially in the second round.
In all, he has posted a points-rebounds double-double in seven of his team’s 13 games – the same number as Sotto has.
To make it clear, a double-double is only expected of Katipunan’s towering teen.
For their 18-year-old team captain who has never been known for his athleticism? Not so much.
For him, the double-doubles are all part of his job. “I’m not thinking about that naman. It’s just my role in the team,” he said.
He then continued, “I just do my thing. Just getting the win, that’s all I’m after.”
And of course, Manuel prepares for his job with the utmost effort. “(Big man) coach Ford (Arao) has been helping me. Every day in practice, I go from guard skills to big man skills trying to work on my craft,” he said.
He then continued, “I always work hard so I expect myself to always do that.”
With all eyes on Sotto, SJ Belangel, and Dave Ildefonso, it’s easy to forget that Ateneo actually has another double-double machine.
That doesn’t matter to Manuel, however, as long as they win the championship. “We’re just here to win the championship. I haven’t gotten a championship for so long,” he said.
He then continued, “With this much talent we have, hopefully, we win the championship.”
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