For the past year, Sean Manganti has haunted the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.
It all started back in October 4, 2017, when Sean Manganti nailed a putback game-winner to lift the Adamson Soaring Falcons to a 73-71 win.
Fast forward to September 26, 2018. The 6-foot-5 forward broke UP’s hearts anew, knocking down the game-winner in a 69-68 thriller.
Last October 28, Manganti was at it again.
The Fighting Maroons were able to cut the Soaring Falcons’ once-26 point lead down to just four with 1:33 left in the game. Jerom Lastimosa missed a floater, but Simon Camacho was there to gobble up the offensive board. From there, Camacho swung a pass to Jerrick Ahanmisi, who then threw a crosscourt pass to Manganti. Manganti gathered himself before knocking down the dagger that stopped UP’s rally.
After all the heartaches, the UP community wished someone could give Manganti the same heartbreak they have received.
And it came on November 28.
Both Paul Desiderio and Manganti were trying to keep their collegiate careers alive. A win in the knockout game would have extended their fight for at least two days.
But Desiderio did what a lot of Iskos and Iskas wanted to do.
With 6.6 seconds left and the game knotted at 87-all, the 5-foot-10 Desiderio pulled up for a jumper over the 6-foot-5 Manganti. Game, set, match.
For the UP senior though, it was nothing personal. He just needed to do his job.
“Wala naman. Inaako lang naman namin kung anong responsibilidad namin sa team namin,” said the 21-year-old.
“Siya naman, kapag crunch time, siya rin titira sa kanila. Win or lose, kami nasisisi so kung pasok, eh ‘di Finals. At kung hindi, aakuin ko yun.”
Desiderio’s only goal is to bring a championship to UP before he ends his journey with the place he has called home for the last six years.
“Kahit na kumbaga sinakripisyo ko na lahat – kumbaga magpapa-draft na dapat ako pero ‘di na ako puwede. Para sa UP naman,” he expressed.
“Sobrang sarap sa feeling na umalis ako na masaya. Bibigay ko talaga lahat para mabigyan ko sila tulad nito, ng championship.”