VIC Manuel sustained his fine play with June Mar Fajardo out on Sunday to help San Miguel oust Converge in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Manuel finished with 20 points while shooting a perfect 9-of-9 from the field ina 121-105 win over Converge that sent the Beermen to the Final Four.
Manuel’s performance as of late is a welcome sight with Fajardo expected to be out for a lengthy period due to an MCL injury he sustained during the EASL Champions Week.
In their previous outing, Manuel had 23 points while shooting 11-of-16 from the field in a blowout win over Rain or Shine last Friday.
“Hinahanap din ako ng mga teammates ko,” said Manuel, who has been injured in recent months that kept him out for several games including during the Commissioner’s Cup playoffs where he had muscle tightness.
“’Yung mga shots ko naman, open talaga eh. Kumpiyansa lang. Hanggang pumapasok, tira lang ng tira. Dadalhin ko lang sa semifinals,” said Manuel.
Manuel said getting the nod as a starter over the past few games has also boosted his confidence.
“Binigay niya ‘yung spot na mag-start ako. Ilang games na. Naging motivation sa akin ‘yun. Kailangang mag-perform ng maayos para makatulong sa team,” said Manuel.
The 35-year-old Manuel isn’t taking all the credit, saying everyone has been stepping up for San Miguel in the late stretch with Fajardo out.
“Hindi lang naman ako. Marami kaming bigs sa team namin. Kailangan magtulong-tulong especially ngayon na wala si June Mar. Binubuhat niya kami sa lahat ng conference. Time naman namin para makatulong sa team namin,” said Manuel.