MANILA, Philippines – With his knee issues now a thing of the past, Vic Manuel is back to his explosive self and is helping Alaska stretch its winning run to six games in the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup.
The "Muscleman" averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.5 steals off the bench to power Alaska past Phoenix and GlobalPort the past week, in the process earning the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award for the period of January 29 to February 4.
Now able to move without pain in his knee, the stocky Manuel has shown mobility and strength in Alaska's past few games. He had 21 points and five rebounds in Alaska's thrilling 105-98 overtime win over GlobalPort last Sunday in Antipolo City.
The 6-foot-4 Manuel came up big in crunch time, converting a pair of free throws then scoring on an undergoal stab in overtime to frustrate the Batang Pier.
Prior to the match against GlobalPort, Manuel contributed 10 points and three rebounds in another reserve role as Alaska routed Phoenix, 93-75, in a lopsided contest.
Alaska, which started the season with back-to-back losses, has won its last six matches to rise to joint second place with Magnolia.
They are just half-a-game behind league-leading San Miguel (6-1) in the race for the two twice-to-beat bonuses in the playoffs.
The 30-year-old Manuel bested teammates Calvin Abueva and Chris Banchero, TNT's Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro, Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga, Chris Tiu and Ed Daquioag, SMB’s Chris Ross, Chico Lanete and June Mar Fajardo, NLEX’s Cyrus Baguio and Larry Fonacier as well as Magnolia guard Mark Barroca for the weekly citation.
Alaska takes a weeklong respite before swinging back to action on Sunday against NLEX at the Araneta Coliseum.
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