ALASKA big man Vic Manuel on Wednesday looked like the same man that used to bulldoze his way to the basket every possession before a knee injury shelved him for the most part of the last PBA season.
Manuel looked as good as new on Tuesday, banging bodies with his Rain or Shine counterparts while chipping in 12 points in a 110-98 Alaska win on the last day of the PBA preseason pocket tournament at the Upper Deck Gym.
Asked about his health after the match, the 6-4 banger said he is close to full strength.
"Medyo okay na. Nakuha sa tiyaga sa rehab namin. Better na sya ngayon kesa nung unang bumalik ako sa practice. Everyday nagi-improve sya kaya nakakapaglaro na uli ako," he said.
"Wala na akong nararamdaman (sakit). Nagagalaw ko na yung gusto kong galaw sa court. Talagang thankful ako kasi naka-recover," he added.
But his recovery was just one of the many things he is happy about this preseason.
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The two rookies, he added, will surely help the Aces regain their defensive teeth.
"Malaki impact nila sa team ngayon kasi both offense at defense meron sila. Lalo sa defense," he said. "Talagang fit sila sa amin. Madepensa sila kaya madali nilang nakukuha sistema namin."
He is just excited to return to the court and team up with Calvin Abueva and Co. to instigate an Alaska resurgence after a tumultuous season that saw the Aces drop 14 straight matches.
"Sobrang excited na ako makalaro at makatulong sa team. Syempre malaking bagay rin yung andun ako sa court nakakatulong," he said.