CEBU CITY — A potentially combustible situation was quietly diffused on Thursday as finals rivals Jun Manzo of the University of the Visayas and Shooster Olago of the University of San Carlos buried the hatchet at the Chong Hua Hospital where the latter has been confined since suffering an abdominal strain in Game Five of the Cesafi finals.
With the camp of USC getting set to ask for a dialogue with Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy and UV team manager Gerald Anthony Gullas regarding the incident involving Manzo and Olago, the Green Lancer guard took it upon himself to see the Cameroonian big man and apologize for what happened.
Manzo was ejected with 1:26 left in deciding game after a contact with Olago that was deemed unsportsmanlike.
“I just wanted to see him (Olago) in person and personally apologize,” said Manzo, a revelation during the five-game finals series where he averaged 15.5 points per game.
“I also wanted to see how he was doing. I know Shooster and he’s a good guy, on and off the floor.”
Cesafi’s chief medical officer Dr. Rhoel Dejano was present when Manzo visited Olago.
“They’re both alright now. Shooster said that he held no grudge against Jun. He was actually very accommodating,” shared Dejano.
While the USC Warriors’ title triumph has been the talk of the town here, so has been the late-game incident involving the schools’ two stars.
There have been calls on social media for a harsher penalty on Manzo, who was also involved in an incident with Olago in a preseason game melee in the town of Medellin. It also didn’t help that Manzo’s moniker down south is “The Hitman.”
But after seeing the video replay of the said incident, Gullas, quickly came to his ward’s defense.
“I didn't want to comment because I didn't see the game or until I saw a replay of the game. Honestly I was hesitant to watch the replay because I knew of the previous history of Jun Manzo. But let me tell you, after the Medellin incident, these UV Green Lancers including the so called ‘Hitman,’ have turned over a new leaf. Most importantly they are not sore losers, they play hard, they are scrappy, they'll do everything to win, but again, they are not sore losers,” said Gullas, also the representative of Cebu’s First District.
“I'm just sad that the events that transpired had Olago ending up in the hospital. But I can assure you, even without talking to Manzo yet, he had no intention of doing anything bad to Olago. Please do not judge him from the preseason because he is a different man now. The whole team is, including the coaches,” added Gullas.