MUCH like most sports fans, Vic Manuel was surprised to be traded with one of the players he considers his idol.
Just days after he was traded by Phoenix to NorthPort for Sean Anthony, the muscular forward found himself on the move again when he was sent to the San Miguel Beermen in exchange for former MVP Arwind Santos.
Manuel, the ninth overall pick in the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft, shared that he was stunned to be swapped for Santos when SPIN Life sought his reaction on the trade.
"Nakaka-shock lang na si idol pa," he said in a message puncuated by a face palm emoji.
For the longest time, the 40-year-old Santos was one of the faces of the SMC flagship franchise. He was an integral part of the team since 2009, winning nine championships including its historic five-peat run in the Philippine Cup from 2015 to 2019.
It was also during his time with the Beermen that Santos won a league MVP award, two Finals MVP honors, and three Best Player of the Conference citations.
Manuel, on the other hand, has unabashedly expressed his admiration for Santos and the Beermen in the past, like in this exchange with the PBA's 'Spidey' in 2018.
"Good luck sa finals idol, di maikaka-ila ini-idolo talaga! God bless!" he said.
To which Santos replied: "Salamat pre, ikaw nga diyan ang nagpahirap sa amin eh, at nagpapanalo ng team niyo, keep it up! Basta ingat na lang lagi at kumusta mo na lang ako kay Calvin."
Lifelong SMB fan
The good thing is, Manuel, 34, is right where he wants to be. The Licab, Nueva Ecija native confessed he was a fan of the Beermen since he was young.
"Sobrang excited [to play for them]! SMB was my favorite team growing up," he said.