PBA: Doubts raised over Manuel commitment after trade request, says Alaska’s Cariaso

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 03 2021 01:10 AM

Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso said the episode involving Vic Manuel wishing to be traded was a challenging period for the squad.

Manuel was sent to Phoenix in a trade that also involved draft picks.

"It's not something you wanted to hear, but if a player comes to you like that (asking for a trade) it's really hard for the commitment part to be kind of still there if he's to return," Cariaso said an an interview on Noli Eala's "Power and Play". 

Cariaso said Alaska continued to talk to possible takers despite news that Manuel has already agreed to re-sign.

"It's was a lengthy 6 weeks. It was continuous conversations with the teams who showed interest in Vic," Cariaso said. "There wasn't as much interest as most people will think, so that made it a lot more challenging also.

"Some were interesting, some fell off the table, some flat out we didn't agree with because we thought that Vic was worth more."

Then came the offer from Phoenix.

Along with veteran playmaker Brian Heruela, the Fuel Masters offered to the Aces the rights to the sixth and 16th overall selections plus a 2021 first-round pick.

Besides trading away Manuel, Alaska also gave up the rights to the seventh and 19th overall picks in the March 14 PBA rookie draft.

Cariaso said this allowed Alaska to get choice pieces from the talent-laden draft, especially now that they are on the rebuilding stage.

"The reason why we were so OK pushing the draft to Phoenix is because being part of that us moving up one slot to no. 6 and in the second round us moving 3 slots to no. 16," he said.

"We've identified 6 players in this year's draft who are already ready and eligible that we feel are key marquee guys that's gonna be able to make an impact right away . . . We're excited about that."

The trade ended Manuel's 7-year stint with Alaska. 

"Bottom line is he wanted to move and we tried to do the best that we can to make it fair for both Alaska and for him," said Cariaso.

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