There’s no denying that Vic Manuel made his mark on Gilas Pilipinas in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The national team first-timer made an impact in the Filipino dribblers’ first four games — where they ran roughshod over their opponents by an average of 47.25 points — as he normed 16.0 points.
Manuel was once again a factor Tuesday night when Gilas took on Tyler Lamb and Thailand for the gold medal.
The Alaska Aces star produced 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field — plus a pair of rebounds — while helping the hosts clobber their foes by 34, 115-81, to win the crown.
The Philippines has now extended its SEA Games men’s cage dominion to 13, and has collected its 18th gold overall.
“Sobrang saya,” said the 6-foot-4 Manuel.
“Alam mo naman na ‘yun ‘yung goal namin kaya kami naglaro dito eh.”
Manuel expressed gratitude to coach Tim Cone for giving him the chance to play for flag and country, which definitely fantastically since it ended up in triumph.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga ako kay coach Tim kasi dinala niya ‘ko rito sa team na ‘to, tapos sa mga coaching staff nila. Siyempre sa Gilas management. Dun talaga ako nagpapasalamat sa kanila.”
Despite his impressive performance though, Manuel doesn’t think that he’ll get the call for another tour of duty with the national team, saying that he’s not getting any younger at 32 years old.
Still, it’s all fine for him. For Manuel, to have played wearing the country’s colors even for once in his career is enough.
“Hindi naman ako bumabata. Matanda na rin ako,” the cager from Nueva Ecija said. “Thankful talaga ako sa kanila kasi binigyan nila ako ng opportunity makapaglaro sa SEA Games.
“Sobrang happy na ako. Kuntento na ako. Ma-experience ko lang, ayos na sa akin ‘yun.”