ALASKA coach Jeff Cariaso is scheduled to meet with Vic Manuel on the same day the disenchanted Aces star requested that he be traded.
Cariaso said he was surprised to learn about the 6-foot-4 free agent’s request to be able to seek a fresh start elsewhere after claiming he was offered no more than a one-year deal by the Aces organization.
“To be honest, I was surprised to read the article [on SPIN.ph]. I’ll have more information regarding Vic after my meeting with him tonight,” said the second-year Alaska coach when asked about his side of the matter.
The meeting could determine what lies ahead for the relationship between Manuel and Alaska that took a crucial turn on Friday.
Manuel claimed the Aces management never bothered to reach out to him since the team’s campaign in the 2020 bubble ended in a quarterfinal defeat to TNT, except for a call to his agent offering him a one-year deal with the same terms and conditions as his recently-expired contract.
“Kung ganun lang ang gagawin, aalis na lang ako sa kanila. Sana i-trade na lang ako,” Manuel said.
In a separate interview with Rey Joble of PBA Rush, Alaska team manager Dickie Bachmann said that contrary to Manuel's claim, management offered the free agent forward a two-year maximum deal.
"We’re shocked. We offered a two-year, max deal with a clause in his second year,” Bachmann said. “The best thing he and his agent could have done is to talk to the management or coach first before coming out with an article.”
Manuel has become the franchise player of Alaska over the past six years since his rise from an unknown college player to one of the stars of the league.
The Philippine School of Business and Administration (PSBA) product led the team in scoring during the bubble with an average of 15.91 points while also contributing six rebounds and 2.09 assists.
Prior to the recently-concluded bubble season, Manuel got his much-deserved call-up to the national team when he was picked to suit up for the all-pro Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.