HE’S back, better than ever.
With his knee issues now a thing of the past, Vic Manuel is back to his explosive self, helping Alaska stretch its winning run to six this past week in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
Nicknamed the “Muscleman”, Manuel averaged solid numbers of 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals off the bench to power Alaska past Phoenix and GlobalPort, respectively and in the process, earning the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of Jan. 29 to Feb. 4.
Moving without pain anymore on his knee, the stocky Manuel showed mobility and strength. He came off a 21-point, five-rebound effort in Alaska’s thrilling 105-98 overtime win over GlobalPort Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The 6-4 Manuel followed up his pair of free throws with an inside stab in extension period to frustrate the Batang Pier. The Elite blew a 13-point lead in the third period, leading to their fourth loss in seven matches.
Prior to their match against GlobalPort, Manuel logged in 10 points and grabbed three rebounds in another off-the-bench role as Alaska routed Phoenix, 93-75 in a lopsided contest.
Alaska, which started the season with back-to-back losses, has won its last six matches to occupy joint second place with Magnolia, just half a game behind pacesetter San Miguel (6-1) in the race for the two twice-to-beat incentives.
The 30-year-old Manuel bested teammates Calvin Abueva and Chris Banchero, Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro of TNT; Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga, Chris Tiu and Ed Daquioag, SMB’s Chris Ross, Chico Lanete and Fajardo, NLEX’s Cyrus Baguio and Larry Fonacier as well as Magnolia guard Mark Barroca for the weekly citation.
Alaska took a week-long respite before swinging back to action on Sunday against the NLEX Road Warriors at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Manuel looked good as new as early as the last pre-season. But it did take a while for him to recover fully.
“Nakuha sa tiyaga sa rehab namin. Better na sya ngayon kesa nung unang bumalik ako sa practice. Everyday nag-improve sya kaya nakakapaglaro na uli ako,” he said.
“Wala na akong nararamdaman (sakit). Nagagalaw ko na yung gusto kong galaw sa court. Talagang thankful ako kasi naka-recover.”
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