CEBU CITY, Philippines — Jaybie Mantilla has the support of his Cebu Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol teammate Patrick Jan Cabahug after the former decided to transfer and play one season for the loaded University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
A member of the Sharks since last season, Mantilla — a former Cesafi MVP — took a leave of absence from playing in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakandula Cup to focus on preparing with the Maroons for the UAAP Season 82 later this year.
Cabahug, the Sharks’ lone all star, said he completely understands where Mantilla is coming from and gave his blessing to the 23-year old.
“I think he really wanted the experience of playing in UAAP. As we all know, it is a big thing and to have an opportunity to play in this league is very fortunate,” said Cabahug.
” Many college basketball players in the provinces dream of playing in this league and I’m happy with his decision,” said Cabahug, who played for the Adamson Falcons during his collegiate years, ” added Cabahug.
Cabahug said Mantilla will come out of his UAAP experience both as a better person and basketball player.
“He will be playing with UP which is a big organization of college basketball, a huge (base of) fanatic basketball supporters and most especially, he will be playing for Coach Bo Perasol, a very systemic coach,” said Cabahug.
“He’ll definitely improve and learn so much there and to play systematically like most players from Manila,” he added.
Cabahug said Mantilla’s UAAP experience will improve his game as he faces another set of challenges and milestones in a different arena.
” I will assure you there’s a big difference in his game after playing for just a season in the UAAP. As a teammate, I’m super proud of Jaybie for taking a step forward in his basketball career,