Show of strength for ‘Muscle Man’
Alaska forward Vic Manuel may not always be mentioned in the same breath as energetic wingman Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio or JV Casio.
But that hardly mattered for the undersized Manuel, who gets the job done anyway the moment he steps on the court.
The former Philippine School of Business Administration standout came off the bench to score 14 points and grab four rebounds as the Aces completed their three-game sweep, 82-77, upending the Star Hotshots’ reign in the Governors Cup on Sunday.
Aces coach Alex Compton commended Manuel, nicknamed “Muscle Man,” for playing bigger than his 6-foot-4 frame as he willingly sacrifices his body to go up against bulkier opponents inside the post.
“Vic is a player, who is ready to play every game,” said Compton, whose prized ward was named Accel-PBA Press Corps. Player of the Week for the period of June 29- July 5.
“One of the things I admire most about Vic is that he plays a lot bigger than he actually is because he plays with such heart,” he added.
The hard-banging Manuel was the thorn in the Hotshots side in the pivotal Alaska fourth-quarter run, scoring eight points during that stretch.
His right-corner jumper with 30 seconds left proved to be the back-breaker, sealing the Alaska franchise’s 28th Finals appearance, the second-most championship stint in league history.
The victory propelled the Aces to the Finals for the second time this season as they aim for their 15th PBA title since joining Asia’s first professional league in 1986.
Alaska will face the winner of the other semifinal series between San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine, which, as of posting time, is tied at 1-1.
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