UNIVERSITY of the Philippines is back in the finals with Jun Manzo coming up huge in two victories this past week.
With Manzo's leadership and backcourt brilliance, the Maroons edged bottom team National University and held off La Salle to secure the No. 2 seed and twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
Those performances earned him the latest Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week from print and online writers covering the beat.
Manzo, who averaged 12.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.5 rebounds, was picked over Ange Kouame of Ateneo, Rhenz Abando of UST and Wendell Comboy of FEU for the award.
Against La Salle, the 5-foot-9 court general pumped in 11 points on top of eight assists and five rebounds.
That scoring output may be far from his best, but his unselfishness was key in the Fighting Maroons' 71-68 triumph over the Green Archers — his beautiful bounce pass that led to Kobe Paras' go-ahead dunk in the last minute.
"Unang-una, nagpapasalamat kami sa Panginoong Diyos sa binigay niyang panalo," bared Manzo. "Siguro, kaya kami nanalo ngayon is sa dulo, maganda yung execution namin as a team.
Three days before that, the 22-year-old playmaker had a 14-point, four-rebound, two-assist performance in UP’s 80-77 win over NU.
He also earned praise from coach Bo Perasol.
"I just have to give honor to them for being warriors," he said. "Bright [Akhuetie], Jun here, and everybody else who contributed should get credit for this."