UV guard Jun Manzo denies striking USC import Shooster Olago in Cesafi finals decider
UV guard Jun Manzo walks to the dugout after getting ejected in the waning moments of Game Five. Ron Tolin

CEBU CITY — University of the Visayas guard Jun Manzo denies striking University of San Carlos import Shooster Olago after he was ejected for a contact that was deemed unsportsmanlike during the Cesafi finals decider.

With 1:26 left in what was already a won ballgame for USC, Olago was running up the floor and slammed into a bodycheck by Manzo, sending him sprawling to the sidelines.

Manzo was sent to the showers early for an unsportsmanlike foul while Olago ended up getting admitted to a hospital afterwards for severe abdominal pain and vomiting.

“Coach (Gary Cortes) just said that if we made a basket, we should foul immediately. I just bumped (Shooster) Olago. I honestly did not punch him,” said Manzo on Wednesday.

Manzo averaged 22 points in the first three games but scored only five in Game Four and finished with just four in the 53-64 Game Five loss.

 “I just felt the pressure. I felt that the expectations of UV and the fans of me were so great. But they didn’t blame me afterwards. In fact, they’ve been encouraging me to get back up and keep working,” said the player from Nasipit.

Manzo admitted that the game plan in the latter part of the series required him to make a transition from scorer to playmaker.

“I had to change my mentality. I was scoring a lot of points but we lost two of the three games where I scored more than 20. That’s why I tried to distribute the ball more,” said Manzo.

Cortes added that for all of Manzo’s skill and talent, he is still a kid with a lot of room for growth.

“He's too young to control his fame and emotions. I told him after Game Three to not mind all the praises from social media, print media and text. I told him that it’s all true, you are the man of the hour, but just focus on your game for your future.”

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