BY now, Sean Manganti has carved a reputation as University of the Philippines' grim reaper.
His clutch baskets and game winners over the past two years remain fresh on the memories of the Fighting Maroons faithful, all the while establishing his lore as a hero for the Adamson Soaring Falcons.
But heading to the two squads' Final Four clash on Saturday, the UP crowd may just have gotten the welcome news it needs Manganti is nursing a minor sprain.
"Last week, (CJ) Catapusan went up for a layup and I was under him. He landed on my ankle," the Fil-Am forward said.
Manganti, though, was quick to allay fears of the Adamson supporters as he assured that he'll be ready come game-time at Mall of Asia Arena.
"It’s nothing serious. I’ll be fine. I’ll be ready," he said as he expects another dogfight between the Soaring Falcons and the Fighting Maroons for one of the tickets to the UAAP Season 81 Finals.
"It’s exciting, man. I love playing against them. They got one of the best crowds. Every time we play them, it’s like a Finals game cause it’s so intense. Nobody’s bastos there. Everybody on that team just wants to play hard. I respect that."
Manganti drilled the game-winning floater in Adamson's 69-68 first round win over UP, and was responsible for the dagger three that put an end to the Fighting Maroons' belated rally to score the 80-72 Soaring Falcons victory in the second round.
Asked if there's another heroic moment on the way in the semifinals, Manganti frankly hoped none would be needed this time out as Adamson eyes to enter its first championship series since the institution of the Final Four format in 1993.
"I honestly want to end the game early," he said. "We want to come out strong so there’s no need for that kind of stuff."