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    Robbie Manalang banks on D-League experience in bid to make PBA via draft

    Dec 16, 2018
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    WITH anticipation building for the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, Robbie Manalang is hopeful he has done enough to impress coaches and scouts and pluck him from the 47-man field.

    "It's like one of my dreams is coming true. You could feel the excitement," he said.

    The 25-year-old guard from Adamson feels like he wasn't really able to showcase his full potential in his two years with the Soaring Falcons.

    That's why he really treasured his run in the PBA D-League, seeing action for AMA Online Education and Marinerong Pilipino.

    "In the UAAP, it's like a team-based game," he said. "In the D-League, you have to show what you've got. Of course, you have to play with your team but you also have to showcase your talent, too. That's something I'm proud of and I think I did well in the D-League."

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      Manalang's abilities were in full display in the 2018 Foundation Cup, where he averaged 13.9 points on a 36-percent shooting from threes, on top of 3.0 assists, and 2.2 rebounds, but most importantly, splitting leadership duties with his backcourt partner Trevis Jackson.

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      "I became a better leader, you know? Because in the D-League, you're only with your teammates for two months so you have to be able to lead in such a short amount of time," he said.

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      Manalang knows the competition is going to be fierce especially with the draft class peppered with guards. But the 5-foot-7 playmaker is keeping his fingers crossed, hoping that a team will take a chance on selecting him.

      "It feels good to be here with a lot of the good players and I'm just excited," he said.

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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