Maroons’ Manuel undecided on UAAP Season 79 return
University of the Philippines’ campaign in the 78th Season of the UAAP just ended but Fighting Maroons guard Jett Manuel is already revved up for next year.
But whether Manuel will still be part of that team remains unsettled.
Manuel, who is eligible to play for one more year next season, could forego his final year as he shifts his focus on his studies.
The sharpshooting guard, who is taking up Civil Engineering, is graduating in June next year.
“I’m not trying to make it a big deal but it’s always going to be an option for me to play,” Manuel said after scoring six points in UP’s 79-67 loss to University of the East on Wednesday.
“But I’m graduating next semester so I really wanna focus on finishing up my degree so that’s what I’m going to focus on right now,” said Manuel.
Manuel was one of the Maroons’ main offensive options and his potential departure will be a big loss for the team next season.
But regardless whether he’s suiting up for UP next year or, Manuel is optimistic of the Maroons’ chances.
“It’s an exciting thing for me to see because we have a solid group of young guys,” he said. “The coaching staff is solid also especially the management behind boss Dan Palami.”
And while Manuel still has an option to return, three Maroons in Mark Juruena, JR Gallarza and Agu Amar have bid farewell to their collegiate careers.
“Mark (Juruena), JR (Gallarza) and Agu (Amar) hats off to them. I’ve played with Mark the longest, he’s been like a brother to me and I’ve seen him grow,” Manuel said. “JR, I think is one of the closest in the team to me. It’s hard to see them go but at the same time, I’m happy for them for what we accomplished for the team.”
UP showed promise this season with a 2-0 start, but it all went downhill from there as the Maroons lost all but one of their last 12 games and finished at the bottom two of the standings for the seventh consecutive year.
Despite the fluttering end, Manuel didn’t see the Maroons season as another year that went down the drain.
“I can’t be prouder for how the team played. I felt that we gave our hearts out for the UP community for the whole season,” he said.
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