Vic Manuel of Alaska Aces (light) vs Arizona Reid of Rain or Shine (dark). PBA photo
MANILA, Philippines – Former PBA D-League Most Valuable Player Vic Manuel has found a home in the Alaska Aces and hopes to stay with the team after having already played for three teams in his young career.
"Ito na 'yung pinaka-magandang team na napuntahan ko," Manuel told PBA.ph of Alaska, his fourth team already after previously suiting up for GlobalPort, Meralco, and Air21. "Dito, family-oriented at nag-aalaga talaga ng player." [http://pba.inquirer.net/47079/finding-his-niche]
"Sana dito na lang ako," he added. "Masaya na ako dito sa Alaska."
One reason that Manuel has fit in so well with Alaska is that the Aces run the triangle offense, the same system that Manuel’s team, Cebuana Lhuillier, ran in the D-League.
"Yung play namin sa triangle, nasakto lang ako kasi 'yun din 'yung ginagamit namin sa D-League kay coach Luigi (Trillo)," he explained. "Sanay lang ako sa takbo, kaya nakakagalaw ako ng maayos."
In Game 3 of Alaska’s best-of-five series PBA Governors Cup semi-finals series against Rain or Shine, Manuel tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Aces took a crucial 2-1 series lead.
He has not only been inserted into the starting line-up, but is also playing crunch time minutes.
"Noong pinasok ako ni coach (Alex Compton) sa starting line-up, doon na nagsimula 'yung kumpyansa ko, at naging maganda ‘yung takbo ng laro ko," he explained.
"Nagugulat din ako. Sabi lang sa akin ni coach, 'yung hustle ko lang. Tapos, pinagkakatiwalaan niya pa ako sa depensa," he added.
Manuel has been tasked to try and slow down Rain or Shine import Arizona Reid, and while he said it is a difficult job, it is a challenge that he welcomes.
"Nagtitiwala sa akin si coach sa depensa k okay AZ (Reid). Bonus na lang ‘yung points na nako-contribute ko sa team," he added.
Manuel and the rest of the Aces can close out the series on Thursday.