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Jonathan Manalili, Allen Ricardo hope to translate juniors glory to Letran Knights

Jonathan Manalili has already been training with the Letran Knights, fresh from his stint as a two-time NCAA Juniors champion and Finals MVP with the Squires.

The easiest part of his transition from the Squires, however, is working with the same coaching staff that guided them toward their Juniors dynasty.

“Sa coaching staff, hindi na ako masyadong nag-aadjust kasi dalawang taon na rin kami nagsama ni Coach Allen,” Manalili shared.

However, as a rookie just months removed from his glory days at Letran High School, the heady floor general from Cebu notes that he will have to adjust to the way college ball is played in the NCAA, especially with seniors like Kobe Monje leading the pack.

“Siguro sa team, kailangan ko mag-adjust kasi rookie ako and may mga veterans sa amin na hindi ko pa naka-bonding at nakasama sa court. Kaya nag-aadjust pa rin ako sa kanila,” the 6-foot guard said.

Although the process will be arduous, Manalili states that his teammates have been welcoming from the start. They have motivated him by ensuring that he will be a pivotal piece in their bid to reclaim NCAA collegiate glory.

Meanwhile, head coach Allen Ricardo is currently going through the same route as Manalili, having to steer this new-look Knights squad following their disappointing 2-16 season in the NCAA.

“It’s a process; we take it day by day,” said Ricardo.

“Parang sa players, sa coaching dapat proseso, ‘wag kang magmamadali. Kumbaga kailangan step by step pagdaanan mo para somehow maganda rin ‘yung balik sa’yo.”

#ReadMore  NCAA 98: Fran Yu scores 11 in the fourth, tows Letran past Baste
Written By

Luis Licas is a sportswriter from the Philippines. He is currently taking up AB Communication at the Ateneo de Manila University. He writes for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covers basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, and other collegiate sports. He also competed in the UAAP for the school's track and field team.

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