While most PBA fans are still embroiled in the celebrated Kia-SMB trade issue that placed embattled Commissioner Chito Narvasa on the hot seat, the draft prospects have taken a back seat.
Barangay Ginebra, fresh from successfully defending the PBA Governors’ Cup, took in a promising player in Jett Manuel, another humble product from Xavier School who also starred for UP Fighting Maroons.
Manuel was taken as the 12th overall pick of the 2017 PBA Draft. A dead-ringer for Jeff Chan, Manuel was an on-and-off figure in the basketball world. In fact, Spin.ph narrates how he doubled his efforts preparing for the Civil Engineering board exam and the rookie draft.
Being able to do that, Manuel placed himself under a lot of pressure. This is nothing new to the former Fighting Maroon, embracing challenges as they come. With that attitude, he should easily fit into the “Never-Say-Die” spirit of the Ginebra Gin Kings moving forward.
Under the watchful hands of Tim Cone, the former Stallion should get his career on track. However, breaking into the guard rotation of the Kings will be no easy task. He will slug it out with established stars like LA Tenorio, Solomon Mercado, and Scottie Thompson. If he continues to show his hard work ethic, he could get the same chance Thompson had under the multi-titled PBA coach.
Manuel has been keeping a low-profile though he was part of the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas team that competed in the FIBA Asia Cup Championships in China recently. Before he would be spotted shooting hoops at the Xavier School grounds, innocent and many would mistake as an ordinary person.
Things change for Jett when he engages in actual basketball competition. His fierce nature was seen with the Maroons and his level of play goes up a notch when actual games are played.
That transformation should show once he is given the chance to perform for the Gin Kings this coming PBA season. All he needs now is that opportunity – something Cone is expected to give despite a crowded Ginebra backcourt.