CHICAGO - Fourteen days after Spin.ph reported that both sides were "close to reaching a deal," Alaska and Vic Manuel saw their divorce papers finalized on Tuesday.
Despite the appearance of hard feelings being mended, the relationship had soured like spoiled milk and reached a point where the best way to move forward was to go separate ways.
And just like that, Manuel is out of the dairy business and now straight into the robust LPG market.
I can't think of anyone who has had a better Tuesday than Manuel had today.
Not only did he get his trade wish granted, he also carted with him a wheelbarrow full of hard-earned, well-deserved cash.
According to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, his one-year deal was worth P420,000 a month "over and above the bonuses."
Manuel is 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds. And I've been told that there's no meter that can measure his happiness scale right now.
And there's plenty to be joyful for.
He joins a new team, a fresh start at age 33. No more Aces to fold, he instead gets the golden chance to help a re-tooled Phoenix rise. That must be excliritating.
Alaska, meanwhile, will suffer some separation anxiety with the bitter-sweet departure of a franchise player who averaged 15.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per during the last time he repped for the iconic franchise.
But the Aces have a reshuffled deck that holds a total of three picks in the first and second rounds of the upcoming draft. If played well, and given the depth of that batch, it could be three Aces for a rebuild.
Unlike the SMB-Terrafirma affair that featured C.J. Perez, a malodorous swap that its architects laughably passed on as a fair trade, this Alaska-Phoenix deal really is truly a "win-win" minus the wink-wink.
After losing the star power of the mercurial Calvin Abueva, Phoenix inherits a lot of muscle and a healthy body of work from Manuel.
Alaska, meanwhile, gets the whiff of a new dawn, a new beginning.
Except for a few moments of passion where Manuel voiced his frustrations in public, it is refreshing to note that his break-up with Alaska was incredibly civil.
And throughout the entire saga, when tempers could have flared, the Uytengsu franchise simply reminded us that they are a class organization which, even when dared and tempted, will not air its dirty laundry outside of the board room.
Divorces are often brutal, contentious.
But as Alaska and Manuel's camp have shown, it doesn't have to.
It's hard enough to walk away from someone you love, so both sides decided they wouldn't mix pain with the sadness.