ANTIPOLO CITY – Vic Manuel played his best game in a San Miguel uniform on Wednesday night, not because he’s up against former team Phoenix, but owing to import Dominique Sutton.
The veteran power forward admitted being challenged by the trash talk from the 35-year-old reinforcement in the second half of the Beermen’s 104-99 win over the Fuel Masters in the PBA Governors Cup.
Manuel finished with 22 points and nine rebounds in a highly physical duel against Sutton.
“Nanggigil na rin ako nung second half kasi nagkakaroon ng kami ng girian nung import nila, e,” said the ‘Muscleman.’ “Ginising niya ako.”
A bump during one particular play ignited the exchange of words, according to Manuel.
The two went at each other during a rebound play, with Manuel almost hitting Sutton in the face with an elbow. The import wasn't happy about it.
'Hey, watch your elbow'
“Sabi niya sa akin, ‘Hey, watch your elbow,” said the San Miguel stalwart of his conversation with the import. “Sabi ko naman sa kanya, ‘Stop crying, bro. Just focus on your game.”
Sutton obviously lost his cool that later on, he turned his attention to Manuel’s teammate, Mo Tautuaa.
“Huminahon na ako nung si Mo na yung ka-trash talk niya,” he said.
That allowed Manuel to focus on his game as he scored 17 points in the second half and helped the Beermen get the job done for their fifth win in eight outings for a share of third and fourth places with idle Alaska.
He also stressed his breakout game as a Beerman doesn’t have anything to do with him playing his former team Phoenix for the first time since being traded to NorthPort for Sean Anthony.
The Batang Pier later sent him to San Miguel for former MVP Arwind Santos.
“Walang personal ito. Trabaho talaga ito,” said Manuel. “Nabigyan tayo ng opportunity na makapaglaro talaga. Alam naman natin powerhouse itong team na ito, so kapag binigyan ka ng opportunity, maglaro ka lang ng maayos.”
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