UNIVERSITY of the Philippines standout Jun Manzo turned heads with his performance in a stunning win over La Salle in UAAP Season 80 on Saturday.
But the biggest compliment yet early in his collegiate career appears to come from San Miguel Beer star playmaker Chris Ross, who heaped praise on Manzo, likening the Cebuano cager to his Beermen backcourt partner Alex Cabagnot.
The comparison was justified especially after Manzo came up big in the clutch, scoring nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, none bigger than the booming triple with 3:17 left that put the Maroons up for good, 86-77.
UP went on to pull the rug from under the defending champions La Salle, 98-87.
"Jun Manzo = young @askcabaggie," the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup best player posted on his Twitter account @cmross6 shortly after Saturday's match.
Asked about it on Sunday after SMB's 101-104 loss to Meralco, Ross said he was not surprised to see Manzo's backbreaking performance since the latter is working with Cabagnot, a UP assistant coach.
"I like him. I like Manzo. I know Alex has been working with him a lot. I know he’s a first year guy, and he’s gutsy out there," said Ross, while also praising another UP newbie in Juan Gomez de Liano.
"They’re really good guards. It’s fun watching those guys especially that I know that Alex has a hand in a lot of those skills," he added. "It's good to support brothers if they go on to different ventures and Alex is trying to be a mentor to those guys and I see a lot of Alex in both of them."
If both Maroons rookies continue their progress, Ross believes UP will be contender in the years to come.
"That’s two guys who are going to make UP a tough team to beat," he said.