JUN Manzo was left in awe by Ateneo's flawless execution after the University of the Philippines succumbed to an 88-79 defeat on Saturday in Game One of the UAAP Season 81 Finals.
"Team talaga sila hanggang sa dulo," he said. "From start to finish, team talaga sila. Hindi mawawala yun tsaka yung experience nila sa finals."
Manzo stood his ground against the Blue Eagles' crack guards, tying his career-best with 19 points to go with four rebounds, and three assists.
However, his best effort wasn't enough to save the Maroons.
Manzo explained he simply took what the defense gave him in Game One, especially with Ateneo limiting fellow Cebuano Paul Desiderio to just five points.
"Hindi ko naman hinahanap yung shots ko. Pumapasok lang talaga siya. Pero ang focus ko lang kasi is defense, na ma-stop yung mga three points ni (Anton) Asistio. Kaso iba yung gumawa eh," he said.
Asistio, the Blue Eagles' best marksman going to the finals with a 45-percent clip, missed both his three-point shots but Matt Nieto and Tyler Tio more than made up for it by going a combined 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Still, Manzo may be defeated but not unbowed. He remained firm in his conviction that the Maroons will come bac stronger in Game Two on Wednesday.
"Gutom yung team namin kaya hindi namin papakawalan yung chance na binigay sa amin ni Lord. Next game, babawi talaga kami," he said.