Manuel’s wish list: Phoenix, NLEX or SMB

Published January 9, 2021, 4:45 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Vic Manuel (PBA Images)

After making a trade request the other day to his mother team Alaska Aces, PBA veteran forward Vic Manuel has a “short list” of teams as his preferred destination for the coming season.

Danny Espiritu, a veteran agent who represents Manuel, said that the eight-year player informed him of the teams and hopes that Alaska would be able to find a way to complete a deal.

“Phoenix Fuel because best friend sila ni Calvin Abueva,” said Espiritu – who has been in the player-agent business since the late 80s – on the Saturday sports show The Chasedown on One PH over Cignal TV.

Abueva and Manuel played a couple of seasons when the former was still with Alaska.

Read: Alaska coach Cariaso: ‘Vic is our number one priority’

The 6-foot-4 Manuel joined the Aces following a trade with the now-defunct Air21 back in 2013-14 Season, and “The Muscleman” immediately formed a solid tandem with “The Beast” Abueva.

That partnership ended when Alaska dealt Abueva to the Fuel Masters in 2017-18 Season.

The two, however, maintained a close relationship particularly during the PBA restart at the bubble in Pampanga. Manuel averaged almost 16 points, six rebounds and two assists in the last Philippine Cup.

Aside from Phoenix Fuel, Espiritu said that Manuel mentioned NLEX as his preferred destination because of the latter’s desire to play for Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao, as well as San Miguel Beer because of Manuel’s close ties with one-time PBA MVP Arwind Santos.

Espiritu said that it is up to Alaska to look for a trade partner, although he mentioned that he understands that the Aces’ option is not limited to the three mentioned teams.

“Nasa kanila kung saan sila makakakuha ng may papayag na kapalit for Vic. Kung sabihin nilang sa ganitong team, malalaman na lang namin na sa ganung team, or ditong team napunta,” said Espiritu.

“Hindi naman kami ang magde-decide niyan e, nasa sa teams pa din yan, sila ang may rights, hindi naman ang agent.”

Espiritu said Manuel and Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso met Friday night, and during their discussion, the former reiterated on his desire to be traded and asked the Aces mentor’s help on his request.