Alex Compton taking it slow with returning Vic Manuel
MANILA, Philippines—It was a long time coming but star forward Vic Manuel eventually made his season debut with Alaska in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.
Manuel, who dealt with back and leg injuries for almost seven months, returned to the court in the Aces’ dominant 103-80 victory over Magnolia Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The bruising power forward finished with six points and one rebound in just 8:48 of play.
“We gave him a minutes restriction, we played him but not too much just for him to get in the flow,” said Compton. “He just got to keep on doing the work, it’s great to see him in uniform.”
“I’m sure they also understand that we have to keep him healthy.”
Manuel was solid for the Aces in 2018 averaging 18 points and 5.3 rebounds in 33 elimination games and he had his best conference in the Commissioner’s Cup, putting up 24.2 points and 6.4 rebounds.
The following season, however, saw Manuel miss the entirety of the Philippine Cup and Alaska’s firs three games in the Commissioner’s Cup due to injuries.
Still, Compton believes Manuel will be able to regain his top form in the latter part of the season’s second conference.
Compton added that he doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake he did in the Aces’ first game of the Commissioner’s Cup where point guard Chris Banchero hurt his hamstring.
“He is way too valuable for us to rush him and we don’t want the same mistake we did with Chris Banchero,” said Compton whose team now owns a 3-2 record. “We want to make sure he’s doing all the work and he’s doing good, but it has to be a process.”