Vic Manuel wants to join Phoenix, San Miguel or NLEX
MANILA, Philippines—Vic Manuel could very well leave Alaska for either Phoenix, San Miguel, or NLEX, if he gets his wish.
The 6-foot-4 power forward is in a contract standoff withAlaska and he revealed that he’d like to join either one of the three franchises in an interview with former Cebuana Lhuillier head coach Beaujing Acot’s Sports All In.
“Before I played professionally, San Miguel was my favorite team,” said Manuel in Filipino.
Growing up, Manuel said he’s idolized Olsen Racela, Danny Ildefonso, and Dondon Hontiveros.
Interestingly, Manuel played with Hontiveros in Alaska from 2014 to 2017 and played under Ildefonso when the former two-time MVP became the Aces’ big man coach in 2017.
There’s also one person that Manuel wants to play with if he gets to move to the Beermen—2013 MVP Arwind Santos.
“I’ve always told coach Danny that I’ve watched them. Also, Arwind’s my friend,” said Manuel.
Phoenix’s case rests on Manuel’s relationship with Calvin Abueva and team head coach Topex Robinson, two people with whom the burly big man has had a deep bond when the two were still with Alaska.
“Coach Topex, whom I’ve been with when he was with Alaska, is there and even in the D-League we’ve always had a relationship,” said Manuel. “Of course my friend Calvin is also there. We’re super close, he’s like my brother.”
As for NLEX, the team’s biggest draw is head coach Yeng Guiao.
Manuel said that he even wanted to play for Rain or Shine when Guiao was still with the club and he feels he can easily adapt to the coach’s system.
“I wanted to get to Rain or Shine before because of coach Yeng,” said Manuel. “I can shoot from the outside and I feel that coach Yeng can really help me.”
Manuel even entertained the idea of joining Barangay Ginebra because of head coach Tim Cone.
The two were briefly in the same team during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games which the Philippines dominated en route to the gold medal.
“I played for coach Tim during the SEA Games. It’s amazing playing under him because you’re learning a lot and of course the discipline is there,” said Manuel.
Though he still can’t decide if he’ll return to Alaska, Manuel said that his love and respect for the franchise is still there.
Manuel, the ninth overall pick of the 2012 Draft, spent his first two years in the league with GlobalPort (now NorthPort), Meralco, and Air21 before landing on the Aces in 2014 wherein he became one of the league’s best power forwards and even earning the Mr. Quality Minutes award in 2018.
“You know that I love Alaska, that’s where I spent the most of my career,” said Manuel. “My love and respect for Alaska is still there, but whatever happens I can’t say.”
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