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Joaqui Manuel now the ‘lone wolf’ of 2018 Ateneo Blue Eaglets

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Tiebreaker Times Joaqui Manuel now the 'lone wolf' of 2018 Ateneo Blue Eaglets Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 83 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 83 Joaqui Manuel DLSU Men's Basketball

When Dave Ildefonso announced his decision to retur home to Ateneo, Joaqui Manuel replied to his tweet.

Technically, out of the core of the 2018 batch of Ateneo Blue Eaglets, only he and Kai Sotto are not in Katipunan as of the moment. Besides Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, and Geo Chiu are all currently playing for the Blue Eagles.

Manuel, on the other hand, has no plans of going back home, saying that La Salle is where he belongs.

Tiebreaker Times Joaqui Manuel now the 'lone wolf' of 2018 Ateneo Blue Eaglets Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 83 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 83 Joaqui Manuel DLSU Men's Basketball

“Honestly, I feel the La Salle spirit and I love how the community welcomed me. I haven’t felt that for a long time,” said the 6-foot-3 Manuel, who averaged 3.36 points and 3.21 rebounds during Season 82.

“I really love La Salle, and I plan to stay there for the rest of my collegiate career.”

Manuel still feels happy for his friend Ildefonso, who — despite putting up the numbers — could not lead National University to the Final Four in his two-year stay there.

“I mean, it was really me and Dave against… Now, he’s back. I just want him to be happy.”

In preparation for his junior year, the 20-year-old Manuel joined Mighty Sports for its campaign in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

Despite not playing in the tournament, the experience of training with professional basketball players like Beau Belga, Andray Blatche, and Renaldo Balkman was an eye-opener for him.

“How pros work, it’s a different experience. How they can just turn it on anytime and anywhere. I’ll make the most of this experience,” he said.

“I’m looking to bring what I learn here to La Salle.”

Moreover, Manuel believes that the changes the Green Archers have been going through will only lead to good teams for the team heading into Season 83.

“This year is going to be a different year, and he’s [new coach Derrick Pumaren] bringing a different system which really bodes well for our team.”

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