Former National University Bullpups point guard Philip Manalang will be suiting up for the University of the East Red Warriors next season. Manalang won a Juniors title with NU in Season 76. Despite a heroic showing by Manalang in the Season 77 Finals, the Bullpups were unable to defend their title against the Ateneo Blue Eaglets who won the title they last held in Season 72 when Kiefer Ravena, Von Pessumal, and Paolo Romero were in tow.
Manalang joins former Chiang Kai Shek Blue Dragons point guard Fran Yu in UE's backcourt where they hope to approximate Roi Sumang's contributions on the offensive end. "Medyo malaki yung responsibility yung palitan si Roi Sumang," said Manalang. "Maraming umiidolo sa kanya at sobra na yung experience niya compared sa amin."
Sumang isn't the only one who will be missing in Red Warriors garb this coming summer and the UAAP. Charles Mammie and Moustapha Arafat are also out from the squad. Two other vital cogs from the past few years are also gone -- Gino Jumao-as and Bong Galanza. The Warriors will count on veteran center Chris Javier to lead the team along with do-it-all guard-forward Paul Varilla and point guard Dan Alberto.
Added Manalang regarding learning from Derrick Pumaren who is on his second year with UE, "Excited din maglaro (for Pumaren) kasi marami ako matututunan lalo na sa defensive end. Ready to step up kami."
The UE Red Warriors will see action in the upcoming Filoil Flying V Premier Cup that tips off this April 25 at the San Juan Arena.