'Muscleman' Vic Manuel is lean, mean and delivering import numbers for Alaska
Vic Manuel has shed off 15 lbs. while recovering from a series of injuries. Jerome Ascano

ANTIPOLO CITY – Vic Manuel has been playing so well in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup that coach Alex Compton referred to him as Alaska’s ‘other import.’

And numbers won’t lie.

The power forward again showed the way for the Aces with a game-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the floor and 12 rebounds as they dealt TnT Katropa its first loss in the mid-season conference, 110-100, on Sunday at the Ynares Center here.

It was the Aces’ third straight win after losing their debut game against Rain or Shine - a hot streak which Compton said has a lot to do with Manuel  ‘playing phenomenal.'

“Minsan parang import nga si Vic,” said Compton. “And you can see how players recognize it by giving him the ball.”

Manuel was quick to play down the glowing words from his coach.

“Niloloko niya nga ako, may bago raw kaming import,” he said. “Natawa lang ako.”

But the native of Licab, Nueva Ecija attributed his resurgence this season to shedding off some unwanted pounds.

From 230 he’s now down to 215.

He added most of the injuries he sustained last year could have something to do with his weight.

“Last year kaya puro injury ako umabot ako ng 230 (pounds),” said the Alaska veteran. “Ngayon nagbawas ako mas nagagawa ko yung gusto ko kasi mas magaan ako.”

Now down to his natural playing weight, Manuel is not about to stop getting better.

“Extra pa rin sa practice, yung injury ko talagang pinapalakas ko pa rin,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos