FOR Sean Manganti, having someone like Che'Lu Bar and Grill coach Stevenson Tiu to talk to is a blessing after a controversial end to his college career.
"It means everything, man," said the Fil-Am forward. "Coach Steve is the best. He’s really a father figure to me."
Tiu's presence couldn't come at a better time for Manganti, who's had a rough past few weeks following his admission of a falling out with hi former coach at Adamson, Franz Pumaren.
That issue has taken a toll on the 24-year-old forward and it was evident with his on-court performance for Che'Lu in the PBA D-League.
Manganti delivered a dud in his second game for the Revellers, shooting a paltry 1-of-8 clip from the field to wound up with just six points and six rebounds while committing seven turnovers in their 82-77 defeat to St. Clare College Virtual Reality last week.
"It’s been bothering me on the court. Even in the PBA D-League and 3X3, it’s been bothering me and I haven’t been the same person," he admitted.
But a timely talk with Tiu allowed Manganti to get things off of his chest.
"We had a long talk, having gone through some stuff in my personal life," said the wiry high-flyer.
Tiu shared: "Hindi daw siya makatulog sa sama ng loob. He's so worried daw, frustrated. We talked and binuhos niya yung sama ng loob niya sa akin."
That talk did wonders for Manganti, who, playing a lot more relaxed, rebounded with a 20-point, four-rebound performance for Che'Lu in its 89-63 victory over Batangas-EAC on Tuesday.
"I’m just trying to get my legs under me, I’m still not playing like how I should, I’m still trying to get back in shape. But thankfully for today, my teammates were there for me and they put me in the right situation and we got the win," he said.
On his admission that Pumaren hasn't talked to him since the Falcons' horror loss to University of the Philippines in the Final Four, he said, "I’m just trying to leave it my rear view. I'm just looking forward and staying positive."
Manganti has Tiu to thank for that positive outlook.
"He really cares. He’s not fake as it should be with other coaches. We have a strong bond right now," he said.