Childhood memories, a chance to play under one of the PBA’s best coaches and a possible reunion with one of his close pals is what prompted Vic Manuel to reveal San Miguel Beer, NLEX or Phoenix Super LPG as his preferred trade destination.
Manuel was candid in his reasons for selecting the three teams during a Facebook live session hosted coach Beaujing Acot, his first public appearance since he was quoted in a Spin.ph story expressing his desire to leave Alaska through a trade.
During the Sports All-In program of Acot, Manuel said he was a big San Miguel fan during his teenage years, rooting for the likes of current Alaska assistant coach Danny Ildefonso and former Aces teammate Dondon Hontiveros, among others.
“San Miguel talaga favorite kong team. Talagang sinusuportahan ko talaga si Coach Danny, kay Dondon. Nakwento ko pa yan sa kanila at masaya ako na nagpang-abot pa kami sa Alaska,” said Manuel.
When asked about NLEX, Manuel said he once hoped to join Rain or Shine during early years in the league. Guiao handled the Elasto Painters from 2011 to 2016 before moving to the Road Warriors camp.
He also said that Guiao’s system of playing with a lot of picks and rolls and the green light for big men to hit the outside shot is something Manuel believes will give him another dimension to his game.
“Parang gusto ko mapunta sa Rain or Shine nun, kasi gusto ko maging coach si Coach Yeng,” he said. “Kasi parang pagdating ko sa PBA, yung laro ko talaga hindi ko maipakita. Nung college ako, halos gwardiya laro ko so parang na-miss ko din maglaro ng outside, pick-and-roll.”
“Yun ang gusto mapakita sa PBA, yung kaya ko maglaro ng ganito-ganyan,” added Manuel.
The obvious reason for Phoenix is his friendship with Abueva which is well-documented. But Manuel is also fond of Fuel Masters coach Topex Robinson, who both go way back even before the latter’s time as an Alaska assistant.
“Yung unang team ko sa D-League, si Coach Topex ang unang kumuha sa akin,” said Manuel, who played for Robinson with RnW Pacific Pipes in the inaugural PBA D-League Foundation Cup in 2011.
“At siyempre nandiyan yung kaibigan ko si Calvin. Alam mo naman kung ganu kami ka-close yan. Parang kapatid ko na yan,” Manuel also told Acot.
Both parties are at a standoff after Manuel was dismayed over Alaska’s offer of a one-year contract, though the Aces later clarified that it was a two-year deal with a clause on the second year.
While it seems that parting ways is imminent, Manuel did open the door for him and the Aces to come to terms.
“Di ko pa masagot yan,” he said. “Pero yung Alaska love ko yan, diyan ako tumagal. Parang dati, journeyman ako, every conference natetrade ako. Talagang yung love at respect ko sa Alaska nandun. Pero kung ano mangyari, di ko masasabi yan.”