Jett Manuel: atleta na, inhinyero pa

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Video courtesy of ABS-CBN Sports and Action

Hindi biro ang pagsabayin ang pagiging atleta at pag-aaral.

Ngunit si Jett Manuel, hindi lamang basketball varsity player kundi civil engineer pa at iskolar pa ng bayan.

“’Yung goal ko kasi na mag-civil engineer, parang set na ‘yun way before I started playing college basketball. Parang nung 4th year na ako, nag-iisip na ng course, and I decided na ‘yun na ‘yung gusto ko talaga for myself na beyond basketball. ‘Yun talaga na ‘yung na-set ko na goal for myself so kahit anong mangyari sa basketball ko, gusto ko talagang maging licensed na civil engineer.”

Naglaro si Manuel para sa University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons mula 2010 hanggang 2016. 

Ngunit, kinailangan niyang tumigil ng halos tatlong taon sa basketball mula 2012 upang maghabol sa mga requirements sa eskuwelahan, pati mag-ensayo sa United States.

Pag-amin ni Manuel, naisip niya na rin mag-shift ng kurso o kaya mamili sa pagitan ng engineering at basketball.

“Di lang few times ‘yun, especially in the midst of season, hell week ng season, nag-iisip na ako na mahirap, na hindi ko kaya ipagsabay. Naisip ko talaga sometimes na i-let go na lang [ang isa].”

Sa kabila nito, nagpursigi siya na matupad pa rin ang kanyang mga pangarap na maging engineer at maging pinakamahusay na basketball player.

Sabi nga sa kanyang motto sa buhay at basketball, “never give up.”

Ibinahagi rin ni Manuel kung paano niya nagawang pagsabayin ang sports at pag-aaral.

“As cliché as it sounds… set your priorities and manage your time kasi there’s no secret formula in balancing the things you want in life.”

Payo ni Manuel, importanteng makilala ang sarili at malaman kung ano ang nais mong makamit sa iyong buhay.

“So as a student-athlete, you have to know what to sacrifice [at] kung ano ‘yung gusto mo talagang mangyari for yourself. If you know what you want for yourself down the line, beyond whatever you’re doing, it’s gonna be easier to go through ‘yung balancing ng pagiging student-athlete kahit mahirap talaga siya.”

Plano ni Manuel na subukan pa rin ang kapalaran sa mundo ng basketball at kasalukuyan siyang nag-eensayo para sa nalalapit na PBA draft ngayong taon.

Aniya, ang puso niya ay nasa basketball pa rin pero kung handa siya sa anumang hamon ng buhay, kung ang bola ay wala na sa kanyang mga kamay.

“Looking forward I know my options if it doesn’t work out. You really can’t tell especially with my case, with what I want do after. If it doesn’t work out, I think I’m ready naman, if it’s time to let go of basketball.”

Mensahe naman ni Manuel para sa mga tulad niyang student-athlete, huwag bibigay.

“I think my advice is to know what you want, for example sa basketball, you really work towards improving yourself to be the best that you can be. If you know what you want with your school and education, I think it will be easier to strive when things are getting rough, kung tingin mo hindi mo kaya ipagsabay.”

“When you know what you want for yourself, you can set your priorities straight, you know what to do na, kakayanin mo na lang para sa sarili mo na accomplish that student-athlete balance.”

— Ulat ni Migs Bustos. ABS-CBN News

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