Jett Manuel leaves Ginebra to pursue engineering career
MANILA, Philippines – Jett Manuel won't be a part of Barangay Ginebra anymore after playing just one season for the PBA's most popular ballclub.
Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone said that Manuel has decided to walk away from the league to pursue a different career and utilize the civil engineering degree he earned from the University of the Philippines.
"He told me that he needed to go and he wasn't secure with his future here and he felt he needed to get his future going right away and get to take advantage of his engineering degree," he said on Friday, January 4.
"I didn't know until this morning and I was shocked to find out," Cone added as Ginebra began its buildup for the PBA's 44th season.
"He's a great kid and I truly think he has a future in the PBA. But we all have different paths, we're going to respect his."
Nabbed as the 12th pick in the 2017 PBA Draft, the former UP Fighting Maroon was expected to add firepower from the outside to an already stacked Gin Kings squad.
But through 3 conferences last season, Manuel – who signed a one-year contract with Ginebra – found himself mostly riding the bench and was usually fielded only during garbage time.
That is something Cone laments upon knowing Manuel's decision.
"I think the regret is I didn't give him enough playing time so that he could really feel good about his career. I think his parents didn't get a chance to feel good about his career," the league's winningest coach said.
"The only problem is he had a bunch of guys in front of him, bunch of veterans in front of him. It would take some patience for him."
"But we did foresee him as part of our core, along with guys like Julian (Sargent), AJ (Mariano) and Art (dela Cruz) and Scottie (Thompson). We felt that he was part of that future core."
Cone, though, has not closed the doors on Manuel if he misses the PBA life.
"We're sad about the idea but I'm proud of him for making that decision. I told him I left the door open. If he gets bored with the civilian life, he can go back to our army and keep battling with us. But that will be on him." – Rappler.com