VIC Manuel came to life just in time to give Alaska enough firepower to outlast GlobalPort in overtime, 105-98, on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Manuel made up for his scoreless stint in the fourth quarter as he scored seven of the Aces’ 12 points in extra time to seal their sixth straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup.
But the 6-foot-4 bruiser brushed off his scoring exploits, saying that he was just making the most of the chances given to him by coach Alex Compton.
“Nagkataon lang siguro na yung mga tinatawag na plays ni coach nung OT para sa akin. Siguro nagkataon lang,” Manuel said with a smile.
“Malaki tiwala niya sa akin. Sinasabi ko lang sa kanya na kahit di ako umi-score, basta dumedepensa ako, nandun ako sa loob ng court, gagamitin niya ako.”
For the game, Manuel finished with 21 points, five rebounds and two steals to continue his stellar play for the Aces this conference.
It’s also no coincidence that the Aces’ resurgence came at a time when Manuel has fully recovered injuries that left him hobbled for the past few conferences.
“Siyempre masaya talaga ako na nakakatulong na ako sa team. Ayun, nananalo kami. Kailangan i-continue pa rin namin kung ano yung mga ginagawa namin,” Manuel said.
Despite the string of wins, Manuel believes that Alaska is still far from perfect.
The 30-year-old cager noted that there are still a lot of things to improve but he assured their fans that they are working hard during practices to continuously polish their game.
“Di pa rin naman perfecg game para sa amin e. Marami pa kaming breakdowns na ginagawa. Pag dating sa practice niyan, inaadjust namin yung mga mali,” Manuel continued.
“Mahirap maging kumpyansa ngayon eh. Muntikan pa kami matalo.. kailangan lang continue namin kung ano yung mga ginagawa namin na magaganda at tanggalin namin yung mga bad habits namin na pwede namin ikatalo.”