REVIEWING for the engineering board exams kept Jett Manuel from playing competitive basketball for about seven months.
But the former University of the Philippines star made sure to make time for workouts with coach Joe Ward in between review sessions to stay in shape.
"I've been training everyday with a personal trainer sa Gold’s Gym, with coach Joe Ward," said the guard who joins the Fiba Asia Champions Cup-bound Philippine squad during the team's send off at the Discovery Suites on Tuesday.
"I think it's the longest offseason I've had that I really chose to train, to prepare for the pro level. I didn't take any days off studying and working out."
Now that he's a licensed engineer, Manuel is shifting his focus on his dream of becoming a PBA player.
And his stint with the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas will definitely help him achieve that.
Named to the 12-man lineup for the Chenzhou, China showpiece, the former UP gunner said he is thankful for the opportunity to play in an international tournament.
"It’s a blessing na I'm here," he said.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity. At the same time, I always knew I had the talent to play at this level. I trust naman the work that I put in and the sacrifices I made."
Manuel said he is also out to prove he belongs to this batch of celebrated cagers that includes Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and Raymar Jose - all projected first rounders in the PBA draft.
"It's just (to prove) that I belong," he said. "I've always thought that I can. Proving to people is not really my thing, it's just I'm focusing on the things I've worked on myself. That's more of it talaga."