UP veteran Jun Manzo keeps teamwork in focus ahead of UAAP 82
MANILA, Philippines — Jun Manzo is slated to be the next leader of the UP Fighting Maroons after Paul Desiderio hung up his jersey last year.
But the Agusan del Norte native says this is far from his mind as State U competes in the Buddha Light International Association (BLIA) Cup in Taiwan.
"Kung anong ibibigay ni Coach Bo na role sakin tatanggapin ko naman. Ang importante lang kasi dito na makuha yung goal namin which is yung championship and yung team chemistry," Manzo said in an interview.
"Hindi ko iisipin na 'ako na ngayon'... Ang iisipin lang namin is yung paano kami magkakagel this coming Season 82," he said.
The Fighting Maroons went on a Cinderella run in UAAP Season 81, where they broke a decades-long drought of missing out on the Final Four and in the Finals.
They had only faltered against eventual champions Ateneo de Manila University.
But now with prized recruits Ricci Rivero, Kobe Paras and Jaybie Mantilla ready to see action in Maroon and White, it may be a different ballgame altogether.
If their dominating campaign in the BLIA Cup is any indication, the Fighting Maroons are certainly a team to look out for.
"Iniisip na namin na UAAP season na to. Oo, wala [dito ngayon] si Juan (Gomez de Liano) at saka si Ricci pero alam ko naman yung dalawang yun may way na para makabawi sila sa team," Manzo said.
Manzo and the rest of the UP Fighting Maroons are through to the semifinals of the BLIA Cup after three convincing victories over the opponents in their bracket.