PBA: Now, we’re seeing ‘Muscleman’ Vic Manuel at full strength

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 10, 2018 10:39 PM
PBA: Now, we’re seeing ‘Muscleman’ Manuel at full strength
Vic Manuel is finally free from all the injuries he had been battling the past two years

Alaska won for the sixth straight game following a loss to open the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

They also won for the second straight game without Calvin Abueva who is tending to personal matters.

With under eight minutes remaining on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, however, that didn’t look like it was going to be the case as the Aces lost an 11-point lead and were trailing a desperate Magnolia side by four.

Good thing for Alaska that Vic Manuel wasn’t going to let them lose. “I don’t think we started out well in this game, but in the end, Vic Manuel,” head coach Alex Compton shared with reporters post-game.

He then continued, “I don’t know what to say. He went off.”

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.

Most of those points in the pivotal period came at the expense of Rafi Reavis. “Rafi Reavis, I don’t know if he’s the premiere post defender, or one of the best, but I have great respect for Rafi so for Vic to score against a smart, long defender like Rafi is amazing,” Compton said.

Without a doubt, Manuel showed off all of his moves in the fourth, scoring at Reavis like he wasn’t a well-regarded defender.

Now in his sixth season in the PBA, the pride of Nueva Ecija is finally showing off his skills in all their glory. As his mentor shared, “The big thing is just being healthy. It’s hard to play well when you’re playing with an injury so he did the physical work first.”

He then continued, “You can see he has legs and that really matters.”

Manuel had been battling various leg injuries in the past two years.

Now that he is operating at 100 percent, he has had four games in the current conference wherein he matched or set a career-high in scoring. “Swerte lang nakakalusot. Kung si Rafi kasi bumabantay, dinadaan ko na lang siya sa bilis kasi mahaba siya e,” he said.

The even better news for the Aces is that their emergent force isn’t about to stop any time soon. “Continue to play lang ako every game lalo na ngayong kulang. Kailangan kong mag-step up palagi,” he remarked


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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