Vic Manuel hopes jersey number switch, a tribute for his daughter, brings better fortune in 2018
Vic Manuel now wears jersey number 87 for his 7-year-old daughter Kesha, who was born August 7. Dante Peralta

NEW year, new jersey number for Vic Manuel.

The Alaska star has ditched his old No. 4 for No. 87 in a tribute to his daughter, Kesha, hoping the change at the start of the PBA season would also bring better health for himself and better fortune for the Aces this year.

“Kasi sa 4, puro injury yung inabot ko, parang pinalitan ko sa 87, kasi birthday ng baby ko: August 7,” Manuel related in a short chat with after practice on Wednesday afternoon.

“Para sa akin, good luck, kasi inspiration ko yung baby ko every game. Naglalaro ako para sa kanya,” he added of his 7-year-old daughter, who lives and goes to school in Subic with his mom.

Manuel has showed he’s back in shape in their opening game against Magnolia two weeks ago when he tallied 20 points, eight rebounds, one steal, against four turnovers in 28 minutes off the bench, although he could only contribute four assists, two points, two rebounds, and two blocks, against two turnovers in 19 minutes also off the bench in their second game against TNT.

His change in number, though, has yet to translate in a change of fortune as the Aces have lost those two games that capped off a disappointing year for the storied franchise.

“Medyo bad start talaga kami. yung 2017, sobrang nightmare sa amin, kasi sobrang struggle yung team,” Manuel said. “Pero siguro ngayong conference, kailangan ipakita na namin yung willing kami manalo every game.”

“Yun yung pinaka-main adjustment namin ngayon tsaka yung mindset namin,” he added ahead of the Aces’ first game this year next Wednesday against Meralco. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos