JETT Manuel admits the selection of the next coach of University of the Philippines will have a big say on his decision on whether he will return to the Maroons next season in the UAAP.
After leaving school prior to Season 76, Manuel has expressed his intention to come back and play for the Maroons once again after being with the team for three seasons.
The 21-year-old Manuel still has two years of eligibility left in the UAAP.
“I still plan to play for UP,” said Manuel in an interview with Spin.ph. “I have two more years (of eligibility). I thought about transferring for a while but if I transferred, I can only play for one year.”
Aside from playing, the collgiate league's former Most Improved Player awardee also said he intends to finish his Civil Engineering degree at UP.
“After talking to my dad, we decided that I will finish my studies in UP dahil ‘yun naman ang reason kung bakit ako nasa UP,’ said Manuel.
Manuel is currently playing for Derulo Accelero in the PBA D-League. Incidentally, Derulo Accelero has a school tie-up with UP.
However, Manuel is non-committal for now as he awaits for the UP coaching situation to be resolved after Ricky Dandan was replaced by Rey Madrid last season.
“As of this moment, magulo pa ang UP. There is no decided coach. There is a lot of politics playing out. So right now, I’m trying to focus on the D-League to get better,” said Manuel.
So far, UP has yet to decide on the next head coach but sources said incumbent Rey Madrid, Jojo Villa, Robert Sison, and Allan Gregorio are in the hunt for the coaching job.
“There is an effect on who the coach will be. That will dictate how I play. Malaking factor ‘yun,” Manuel added.
During the break, Manuel got an opportunity to train in Indiana and Las Vegas for a total of five months to hone his skills, an experience that he cherishes.
“It was good. It was a new atmosphere. The training is a lot harder. I got a lot better but I think its more of continuing,” said Manuel.
That is why Manuel is glad to play in the PBA D-League before he returns to the Maroons.
“I got to apply what I learn agad. ‘Yung experience dito, malaking factor. No matter how I train my skills, iba pa rin ‘yung playing atmosphere.”