MANILA, Philippines -- A contrite Vic Manuel said he has learned his lesson after being suspended for a week by the Alaska Aces for playing in a "ligang labas."
Manuel along with Magnolia's Jio Jalalon were suspended by their mother teams for playing in a community league, which is in violation of their uniform players contract.
"May mga kaibigan kasi tayo doon na minsan mahirap tanggihan, so ayun napasubo talaga eh," Manuel said Thursday, during the PBA's Media Day at Okada Manila. "Alam naman nating bawal, pero ginawa pa rin."
"Dapat maging lesson sa amin talaga. Hindi lang sa amin, siguro sa iba pang PBA players na gagawa pa lang. Dapat maisip na muna nila na talagang bawal talaga," he added.
Manuel acknowledged that he was aware of the rules preventing them from suiting up in such games.
"Matigas lang talaga ang ulo ko kaya ko ginawa. Kailangan sa susunod, hindi na maulit," he said.
According to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, players may be allowed to take part in such community leagues as long as they first ask permission from their mother teams and from the league as well. This is done to keep the players safe, as he noted that the PBA stars risk injury when they compete in "ligang labas."
"'Pag magpaalam sila sa PBA, titignan natin. Kahoy ba 'yang pinaglalaruan, paano, ilang minuto. Titingnan natin. Parang mga out of town games natin, meron tayong parang sinasabi na bago tayo magpunta diyan, kailan ito ang kundisyon namin," said Marcial.
Alaska suspended Manuel without pay for a week. The forward will return to practice on Monday and is not expected to miss any games in the upcoming PBA Philippine Cup.
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