Vic Manuel is looking forward to playing a key part for the talent-laden San Miguel Beermen and finally end his near-decade quest for a first PBA championship.
The power forward known as “The Muscleman” said his toughness and experience are something he hopes to provide to a Beermen side seeking to restore its winning ways after falling short in the last two pandemic-marred conferences.
“Siguro yung toughness ang kaya kong dalhin sa kanila,” Manuel told the CNN Philippines program Sports Desk Thursday, Nov. 11. “Kilala naman nila ako kung paano ako maglaro. Never akong gumigive-up at talagang laban lang ako kung laban.
“At siyempre yung experience na rin sa paglalaro. Pero sila dami silang experience kasi lagi silang naglalaro sa finals,” added Manuel.
Being with SMB could finally provide an easier pathway for Manuel to finally lift a PBA trophy after being denied four times in the finals while with Alaska.
Three of those appearances saw Manuel on the losing end against the Beermen, including the stunning comeback from 3-0 down in the 2016 Philippine Cup Finals.
“Siyempre pumasok na rin yan sa isip ko kasi alam naman natin kung gaano kalakas ang lineup nila at gaano kaganda yung chemistry nila kasi contender sila parati sa title e,” he said. “At dahil din sa kanila, ilang beses din ako natalo sa finals. Opportunity na namin magchampion pero nadadale pa kami, diba?
“So sana makabalik sa finals yung SMB with me, diba? Siyempre kung andun na kami, opportunity na yun para makakuha ng title so kung makabalik sa finals wag nang pakawalan,” he added.
Manuel now joins the deepest lineup he’s ever been since being drafted in the 2012 draft, with Terrence Romeo, CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo.
For Manuel, he’s glad that facing Fajardo will only be limited during SMB practices.
“Sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam dahil ka na bubugbugin,” Manuel said with a laugh. “Sa kakaikot niya (sa poste), sikot niyan ang nasasalo ko, kaya excited ako na makasama ko siya.”