Abueva, Manuel back in harness but Casio still doubtful for Alaska match against San Miguel
The return of Vic Manuel and Calvin Abueva should give Alaska a huge boost against a San Miguel side aching to score a win. Jaime Campos / Jerome Ascano

ALASKA forwards Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel are expected to play for the Aces when they collide with Philippine Cup Finals champion San Miguel Beer for the first time in the PBA  Commissioner’s Cup on Tuesday.

Abueva has practiced with the team for the past two days since recovering from a bout with flu, while also undergoing therapy on his right knee, which he injured after colliding with NLEX import Al Thornton’s metal knee brace.

“Okay na ako, though ngayon mas nagpapagalakas ako after ng trangkaso ko,” Abueva told Spin.ph, shortly after the team’s Monday afternoon practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center.

The undersized Alaska forward said he, along with his kids, were actually hit by flu-like symptoms since last week, forcing him to miss the Aces’ 95-73 blowout loss at the hands of the GlobalPort Batang Pier.

“Nagkasakit din kami lahat sa family ko, pero ngayon, nasa recovery na kaya maganda na,” said Abueva, whose team currently occupies the bottom-half of the standings with its 1-2 record.

“Ngayon panibago na uli ito, kailangan makapanalo na para maka-angat sa last eight, or kahit sa three to sixth (seed), puwede na,” he added.

Manuel also missed the team’s game against GlobalPort after colliding with Thornton

Though the Aces are facing the Beermen, who denied them an All-Filipino crown behind Finals MVP Arwind Santos’ crucial three-point shot to secure the Game Seven victory, the 27-year-old Abueva said they have learned to move on already.

“Basta naman gagawin namin ngayon is play hard kami at mage-execute kasi moving forward na lang kami. Ibang conference na ito,” said the former PBA Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile, JV Casio, who sat out the team’s first three games this conference due to a wrist injury, joined the team’s practice on Monday.

“Puwede naman ako on court. Pero ang di lang puwede, yung shooting kasi before pa ito (wrist injury). Naramdaman ko na ito last year’s Governors Cup pa,” explained the sweet-shooting Casio.

Although Casio said he’s ready to play and help the Aces get back to the winning track, he’s leaving up the decision to Alaska coach Alex Compton if he’ll be able to play or not.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava