PHILIP Manalang has moved from National University to University of the East, and will immediately be available for the Red Warriors in his freshman year.
Manalang, who had an impressive performance with the NU Bullpups in the UAAP Season 77, said he has committed to the Red Warriors and has in fact been joining the team’s practices.
It is still unsure, however, if the 18-year-old would be lined up by head coach Derrick Pumaren for the upcoming Filoil Cup preseason tournament.
The 5-foot-10 point guard has also been released by NU, which means he could play for UE in the coming Season 78 set to open on September 5.
The former Bullpup averaged 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in the regular season, before his numbers rose in the finals against Ateneo, posting 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, two assists, and 1.7 steals during the series.
Manalang believes he will thrive in Pumaren’s system, which is known for its pressure defense.
“Nasanay na po ako sa disciplined team kay (Bullpups) coach Jeff (Napa). Hindi ganun kahirap mag-adjust dahil nasanay na ako nung juniors kay coach Jeff. Makikita mo talaga na walang pasaway dahil disiplinado lahat dahil kila coach Derrick and Dindo (Pumaren).
“Dahil din po sa system ni coach Derrick,” he added. “Fit ’yung laro ko sa system.”
Manalang also says he had no trouble trying to fit in.
“Sobrang bait ng mga teammates ko sa UE. Welcome na welcome talaga ako,” said Manalang, who joins two other rookies Fran Yu and Shannon Gagate from Chiang Kai Shek College at UE.
UE is still reeling from the loss of Roi Sumang, who is now concentrating on the PBA D-League and is considering joining the PBA draft this year.