Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso said the trade that sent Vic Manuel to Phoenix Super LPG will give his team better opportunities to improve the roster through the PBA Rookie Draft.
The Aces finally got to fulfill Manuel’s wishes Tuesday, Feb. 23, by shipping him to the Fuel Masters in a deal that also saw the two teams swap picks.
Phoenix also inserted backup guard Brian Heruela in order for the PBA’s trade committee to give the trade a nod of approval.
Cariaso said Alaska entertained other offers, but in the end felt that the one Phoenix had would be more beneficial.
“Trading Vic was very challenging these past (six) weeks,” Cariaso said. “There were several offers from different teams that either fell off the table or we simply did not want to accept.”
As part of the trade, Alaska was able to receive the sixth and 19th overall picks in this year’s Draft along with the first round choice in next year’s proceedings.
But the Aces, in return, had to hand over their seventh and 19th picks in the March 14 proceedings.
“Finally, we’ve come to a deal with Phoenix that will give us a better opportunity to draft marquee talents in both rounds. Plus give us an extra first round pick next year,” said Cariaso.
Alaska had been busy prior to the Manuel trade, signing Jeron Teng to an extension and adding MPBL star Gab Banal and center Yousef Taha from free agency.
“I truly believe in the guys we have and trust that they will step up, taking full advantage of the opportunities. I’m equally as excited about the free agents and rookies that will join us this coming season.
“Never will there be a question of commitment from these guys and I look forward to the daily grind with them,” added Cariaso.
Cariaso also expressed confidence that Heruela, a reliable point guard during his stints with Blackwater, San Miguel Beer and Phoenix, may end up as a major pickup for Alaska.
“Because he wasn’t part of the original offer, he may end up being a blessing in disguise for us. Great kid with tremendous work ethic,” Cariaso tweeted in response to one of the online stories that came out after the trade was approved.