PBA: No regrets for Vic Manuel as Alaska ousted from Commissioner's Cup
Philip Matel on Jul 22, 2018 11:07 PM
Vic Manuel's flawless moves on the post have been a revelation, mentored by one of the best centers the league has ever had, Danny Ildefonso.
Vic Manuel's magical Commissioner's Cup run is over.
Emerging as one of the top offensive threats for the Alaska Aces, he scored 20 points in 11 straight games, including a career-high 35 markers against the Magnolia Hotshots.
His flawless moves on the post have been a revelation, mentored by one of the best centers the league has ever had, Danny Ildefonso.
During the eliminations, the 'Muscle Man' normed 24.2 ppg on 58.2 FG%, 6.4 rpg, and 0.9 apg, which made him a frontrunner for the Best Player of the Conference award.
However, things started to change in the semis where his 20-point streak was cut short abruptly in Game 1 against San Miguel, where he just tallied 16 points.
Not a bad outing, really.
Unfortunately for Manuel, it became a turning point in the race which counts statistics through the semifinals, thus elevating reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo to the overall leader in the tally, including a 26-point, 12-rebound, two-assist, two-block performance in the series closer.
For Manuel, an earlier exit than what he had expected was not a problem for him, as he proved himself to one of being the most feared weapons of coach Alex Compton's balanced attack.
"Pero yun nga sabi ko, proud talaga ko sa team namin, sa mga teammates ko, lahat kami nagtulong tulong kasi hindi lang naman ako. Lahat kami nagtulong tulong para makarating dito."
"Masaya na ako, naipakita ko. Okay na ako doon. Yun nga sabi ko, nakapasok kami sa semis. Kahit na na-short kami. Ayun lang kuntento na ako. Masaya na ako," the hulking forward added after the game.
With key guys like Calvin Abueva (suspension), minutes and assists leader Chris Banchero (family emergency) and original import Antonio Campbell (called up to play in the NBA Summer League), Manuel was proud his team was able to hold the fort and fought tooth-and-nail against the reigning champs.
Despite the great performance this conference, the 6'4 forward dispelled questions that his showing has elevated him to the upper echelon, vowing to keep grinding until he proves himself otherwise and avoids injury.
Being one of the focal points of the Alaska offense in their rough-and-tumble semis, Manuel was given the go-signal by coaches Compton and Ildefonso to pace the attack, and that has given him a renewed sense of pride for himself.
Now that his Commissioner's Cup journey is over, Manuel hopes to be included in the national team's replacement squad for the second window of the FIBA Qualifiers and finally don the 'Pilipinas' jersey for five-on-five, full-court basketball.
"Bakit hindi? Syempre tutulong tayo sa bansa natin. Ready lang ako kung tatawagin nila ako. Syempre willing naman ako para maglaro sa Pilipinas. Sa 3x3 nga, ininvite nila ako naglaro ako, doon pa sa Gilas? Syempre, mas masarap maglaro sa 5-on-5, alam natin yun."
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