Jett Manuel says learning how to close out games the missing link for UP to end winless start
Jett Manuel went on attack mode and finished with 19 points. Jerome Ascano

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines skipper Jett Manuel bared that the Maroons only need to learn how to close out games to break through with their first win in UAAP Season 79.

In the aftermath of UP's 83-77 loss to the University of Santo Tomas on Saturday, Manuel was satisfied in seeing the Maroons show promise and gave the Growling Tigers a fight for the most part of the game. But they did little to fan the flames in the homestretch and ended up absorbing their third straight loss.

"Well, we felt like we were there the whole game, the effort was there," said Manuel.

"But we don’t know how to win, which basically what happened. So during the endgame, everyone wanted to win no doubt but as a team, it’s still hard to change the culture well," he added.

Despite suffering another painful loss and a winless start in three outings, Manuel and his team remained upbeat.

"Three games down, 11 more to go. As much as this hurts, we can’t do anything but stay together and focus on the next game," he said. "Everyone’s down, everyone wants to win, hindi na sa manhid kami sa talo but you know, we’re gonna win. We’re going to give more effort."

"I've played for UP for a while and I know the difference between giving up coming into the 1st half, giving up when the opponent gets on a run, we’re not like that anymore. Coach Bo (Perasol) does a good job, the team does a good job. We’re stayin there, we really want to win talaga," added Manuel.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros