Jun Manzo's UAAP 82 breakout all thanks to hearty meal from Paul Desiderio

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 12, 2019 09:00 PM
Manzo's breakout all thanks to hearty meal from Desiderio
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Jun Manzo has not had a great UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament thus far.

The University of the Philippines' graduating guard has posted per game counts of 6.1 points in 36.7 shooting, 2.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals and has had quite a few instances of brilliance.

On the whole, however, the Fighting Maroons' so-called x-factor was yet to make his presence felt.

And he is the very first to acknowledge that. "Nag-struggle kasi talaga ako ngayon," he said.

That all came to an end, Saturday at MOA Arena, as Manzo energized State U to a much-needed bounce back win with 17 points, five assists, and three rebounds.

Afterward, the first words out of his mouth were of thanks to Paul Desiderio. "Kinausap ako ni Paul kasi nawawala na kumpyansa ko. Siya yung nagbigay ng kumpyansa ulit," he said in their post-win interview.

As it turns out, the Diliman legend got in touch with his old pal to remind him to keep his head up.

"Last game, ang sama ng laro ko. Talagang nada-down ako, 'di ko alam gagawin," Manzo shared. "Siguro, nabasa niya ako kasi matagal kaming nagkasama."

And so, Desiderio refilled the UP playmaker's spirits - and stomach. "Parang nage-gets nga niya ako so pinapunta niya ako sa bahay niya. Nagluto siya ng isda at sabaw," the latter narrated.

He then continued, "Pagkatapos kumain, kinausap niya akong heart-to-heart na wag ka mawalan ng pag-asa, matagal pa ang season. Dahil dun, gumaan loob ko."

Apparently, that was just the refill Manzo needed as he turned in his best game of the season with the Fighting Maroons nothing but determined to get back on track. "Siyempre, si Paul naman yung kumuha sa akin (galing Cebu) tapos parang kapatid ko na siya rito sa Manila. Malaking bagay na kinausap niya ako kaya naisip kong dapat, 'di talaga ako mawawala sa season na 'to," he said.

He then continued, "Lumalakas loob ko lagi pag kinakausap ko siya. Ngayon, nag-click talaga lahat salamat kay Paul."

Moving forward, the veteran court general is only hoping to build on his breakthrough in the season - with or without a happy meal from Desiderio. "Sana, matuloy-tuloy ko 'to," he expressed.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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