UAAP 82: Manzo sacrificed last two minutes of UP career for Akhuetie

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 14, 2019 01:44 PM
Manzo sacrificed last two minutes of UP career for Akhuetie
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Jun Manzo spent the last two minutes of his collegiate career on the bench.

He was only forced there, however, because of an unfortunate series of events.

With the University of the Philippines and University of Sto. Tomas going at it in their do-or-die game last Wednesday, the former's Bright Akhuetie was down on the floor while clutching his left foot.

Only, possession was with the Growling Tigers and league rules state that referees could only blow the whistle for injury stoppage for the team with the ball.

And so, the Fighting Maroons were forced to foul with Manzo being the first to do so.

Indeed, injury stoppage was called and Akhuetie could finally get his foot checked, but that foul was actually the fifth and final one for their primary playmaker.

With that, Manzo fouled out - still with 2:33 left in the game.

"Akala ko kasi, third foul ko lang so nag-foul na ako kasi nakita ko si Bright na nakahiga na sa court," he shared post-game. "'Di ko in-expect na fouled out na pala ako. Siyempre, parang nanghihinayang ako kasi two minutes na lang eh."

With UP bowing to UST, that meant that foul was the very last action the 22-year-old did in maroon and green - and his final stat line had 12 points and five rebounds to his name.

Still, he would do it again - if it meant that he would be helping out his ailing teammate. As he put it, "Yun pa rin gagawin ko talaga kasi family ko si Bright so hindi ko hahayaan na may mangyari sa kanya. Gagawin at gagawin ko pa rin yung foul na yun."

In the end, Manzo leaves UP as the point guard of its most successful teams in a long time.

And for that, of course, he is nothing but thankful. "Nagpapasalamat ako sa UP na tinanggap nila ako. Ginawa namin lahat sa game (kahapon) kaya wala naman akong pinagsisisihan," he said.

He then continued, "Parang umiyak lang ako kasi nakakalungkot na 'di namin maaabot yung goal naming pumasok sa Finals."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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