MANILA, Philippines – Out of action since December 2018, Alaska's Vic Manuel is raring to make his return to the Aces as they compete in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Manuel has not played since the Aces lost to Magnolia in the finals of the Governors' Cup last year, having sat out the entirety of the All-Filipino Conference. He could have played in their first game of the Commissioner's Cup against Columbian Dyip last Sunday, but was held out due to "a couple of issues" that occurred during their practice.
"I think he'll be okay," Alaska coach Alex Compton said of Manuel, after their 111-98 rout of Columbian to open the conference. "He had a couple of issues that came out during practice."
"But when he comes back, it's obviously a pretty massive threat for us," he added.
Manuel explained that he experienced some tightness in his calf that prevented him from practicing. He is undergoing rehab for the pulled muscle, and hopes to practice on Saturday.
The bruising forward said he is raring to go back to work for Alaska, especially as he has already missed five months of the season.
"Nanggigil na nga ako eh. Gusto ko nang maglaro eh. Three weeks na akong nagpa-practice, nakakabalik na sa kondisyon, tapos nagkaproblema uli sa right leg. So nakaka-frustrate lang," said Manuel.
Manuel said that the back injuries that plagued him before are now resolved anf that he is just waiting for the go-signal from the doctor to return after the tightness in his calf.
In the meantime, he is putting in the work in the weight room.
"Pinapahirapan namin siya sa weights eh. Siguro pagbalik niya, sobrang maskulado na ni Muscle Man. Baka sasali na sa Mr. Philippines na 'yan," joked Compton.
"Workout ako nang workout talaga ngayon," Manule confirmed. "Sana, maging 100% na ako pagbalik ko."
Manuel was superb in last year's Commissioner's Cup, averaging 24.18 points and 6.36 rebounds per game while shooting a blistering 58% from the field.
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