UP has its moment again thanks to UAAP 82 Player of the Week Manzo

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 28, 2019 11:38 AM
UP has its moment again thanks to Player of the Week Manzo
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

UP has already made school history - and it's still very much in the running in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament.

With a gutsy win against La Salle last Sunday, the Fighting Maroons clinched the second-seed and the twice-to-beat advantage alongside it.

Both are firsts for State U in the Final Four era.

Not only that, with that gutsy win, they booted out the Green Archers who will be missing the semifinals for the second straight season.

And there is no doubt that UP can thank Jun Manzo's leadership and backcourt brilliance for much of that.

In their last two wins, Manzo averaged 12.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.5 rebounds, steering the ship as the Fighting Maroons sailed towards history and proving worthy as the latest Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week.

Against La Salle, the 5-foot-9 court general pumped in 11 points on top of eight assists and five rebounds.

That scoring output may be far from his best, but his unselfishness was key in the Fighting Maroons' 71-68 triumph over the Green Archers who were desperate for a win to stay alive.

In fact, it was his beautiful bounce pass that led to Kobe Paras' go-ahead dunk in the last minute.

"Unang-una, nagpapasalamat kami sa Panginoong Diyos sa binigay niyang panalo," bared Manzo. "Siguro, kaya kami nanalo ngayon is sa dulo, maganda yung execution namin as a team.

And that was just an encore for the graduating guard's 14-point, four-rebound, two-assist performance in their 80-77 win over National U three days earlier.

Those back-to-back strong showings not only earned Manzo the weekly citation decided upon by print and online writers covering the beat, but head coach Bo Perasol's praise as well.

"I just have to give honor to them for being warriors," he said. "Bright [Akhuetie], Jun here, and everybody else who contributed should get credit for this."

The 22-year-old playmaker eclipsed Ange Kouame of Ateneo, Rhenz Abando of UST, and Wendell Comboy of FEU for the award.

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