2017 PBA Draft: Zero in on Jett Manuel

 

Jett Manuel figured prominently when Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas battled Asia’s elite clubs in the recently-concluded 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup.

 

Whoops.

 

I mean… Engineer Jett Manuel figured prominently when Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas battled Asia’s elite clubs in the recently-concluded 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup.

 

See what I did here.

 

Initially I pegged him as a late second round acquisition who could score a semblance of playing time. However, his affiliation with the squad could send his stock as early as the late first round.

 

So let’s zero in on Jett Manuel.

 

First of all, I know little with regards to this guy’s winning reputation. After all, he played college ball for the UP Fighting Maroons. Look, I am not dissing the school because for starters… most of their alums are intelligent as heck. Most of my bosses came from UP and the last thing I want to do is to engage against them in any sort of debate. With that said, these guys scream at the heavens with every win they would unearth and there was a time when these wins happen once in two seasons (nevermind if my UST Growling Tigers are toothless and clawless at the moment). Jett Manuel captained UP’s charge during their win drought and the lack of winning edge could mess up his draft stock.

 

During the 2016 PBA Draft, Mikee Reyes got selected in the fifth round by the TNT KaTropa. Two years before, Rain or Shine selected Mike Gamboa as a late second round pick with Raul Soyud going to Blackwater in the third round. Second generation baller Samuel Marata was picked by San Miguel in the third round of the 2013 PBA Draft. In the fifth round of the 2013 PBA Draft, Mike Silungan, Alvin Padilla, and Mark Lopez were taken by Barako Bull, Ginebra, and Meralco respectively with Gelo Montecastro going undrafted. And finally during the 2012 PBA Draft, Woody Co became a late second round pick of Barako Bull and VJ Serios was selected in the fifth round by GlobalPort.

 

The last time UP had it good in the PBA Draft was in 2011 when Magi Sison became the eleventh pick overall by the Shopinas Clickers and Paul Sorongan became the twentieth pick of the draft.

 

The last time UP had a first round pick was when Abby Santos became the tenth pick overall when he got selected by the Welcoat Dragons in the 2006 PBA Draft.

 

The last time UP had a top five pick was in 2000 when Paolo Mendoza became the first pick of the draft with Ogie Gumatay going in at number five.

 

So UP’s win-loss record play a part on the school’s draft success rate.

 

Word.

 

Also, Manuel played for Derulo Accelero in the PBA D-League… and as far as semi-pro experiences go, that’s about it. It doesn’t help his cause that Derulo was sponsored by UP.

 

But then this is when you get why Manuel is prepared for said undertaking.

 

If a player could still make a Chooks-To-Go squad under these circumstances, then perhaps Jett Manuel should engineer rightful buzz. This is a 6’2 player who could play three positions and has proven time and again that he can excel when the pressure is on.

 

Also, the guy passed a civil engineering exam while playing ball for the UP Fighting Maroons. U… F’N… P! A jock thriving in such circumstances should have a medal for the mere fact of finishing a math-related course in UP.

 

Jett Manuel is a longshot to one-up the likes of Christian Standhardinger, Raymar Jose, Kiefer Ravena, and Jeron Teng but he’ll most certainly have a spot in the first round. He can have a lengthy pro career if he remains healthy and if he gets to play for a team that would nurture his services. The Alaska Aces are in need of depth and Manuel could fill their needs. He’s also a player with nothing to lose and everything to gain – with his engineering license as fallback in case his pro career fails to blossom.

 

As for winning tradition, Danny Ildefonso is a championship-stacked future Hall of Famer that came from a pre-Froi Baguion NU Bulldogs.

 

So I guess we could see Jett Manuel shocking everyone… and perhaps he would transform as an important catalyst to any championship drive.

 

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