PBA: Manuel carries shorthanded Alaska to playoff berth

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 10, 2018 09:48 PM
PBA: Manuel carries shorthanded Alaska to playoff berth
Vic Manuel was a man on a mission - make sure shorthanded Alaska clinches a playoff berth in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup

Even without Calvin Abueva, Alaska is still rolling in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

And that’s because Vic Manuel is still rolling in the tournament.

Manuel delivered a career performance and was backstopped by American reinforcement Antonio Campbell in the Aces’ well-earned 103-99 win against desperate Magnolia on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 30-year-old forward dropped 17 of his career-high 35 points in the final frame to make sure his team’s streak stretched to six even without Abueva as well as key reserves Jeron Teng and Carl Bryan Cruz. “It was big for us to get this win. I didn’t think we started out well, but in the end,” a beaming head coach Alex Compton told reporters post-game.

He then continued, “Vic Manuel.”

This is the fourth game wherein Manuel matched or set a career-high in scoring in the conference.

He also accounted for more than half of Alaska’s 32 points in the pivotal period, coming through when it mattered most.

Down by four inside the last eight minutes, the pride of Nueva Ecija poured in 13 points in a 19-10 push that mounted a 100-93 lead for his team.

Justin Melton’s triple pulled the Hotshots within three, 99-102, with 13.3 ticks to go, but Kevin Racal’s split from the stripe kept them at bay once and for all.

Campbell was more than glad to be Manuel’s sidekick in this one, but still contributed a 28-point, 15-rebound double-double. Jvee Casio also added eight markers, six boards, and four assists as the Aces rose to 6-1 and registered a tie for the second spot with TNT.

More importantly, they are now assured of a quarterfinals berth. “Hopefully we can keep winning. There’s always a certain goal and the goal we shoot for is a championship,” Compton said.

Paul Lee paced Magnolia with 21 points while new import Justin Jackson debuted with 21 markers, 13 rebounds, and six assists. With no answers for Manuel, however, they fell for the third time in a row after a 3-1 start.

BOX SCORES

ALASKA 103 – Manuel 35, Campbell 28, Thoss 9, Casio 8, Banchero 7, Enciso 6, Racal 5, Baclao 4, Exciminiano 1, Pascual 0

MAGNOLIA 99 – Jackson 21, Lee 21, Melton 14, Reavis 9, Simon 9, Barroca 9, dela Rosa 9, Jalalon 4, Herndon 2, Brondial 1, Ramos 0, Pascual 0

QUARTER SCORES: 23-16, 46-39, 71-70, 103-99

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