Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso has already met with Vic Manuel Friday night, in light of the disgruntled forward’s request to be traded.
“I met with him last night and he was able to share with me his concerns, plans, and desires,” the cager-turned-mentor said.
Cariaso said that Manuel opened up and admitted that this contract dispute has him worried regarding his family’s welfare.
“He candidly expressed that his contract situation at almost 34 years old, makes him constantly think about his family’s life after his career,” he said.
“And of course, this thought is perfectly understood not only by one but three coaches in our team—Coach Danny [Ildefonso], Coach Tony [Dela Cruz] and I, as we are all former players.”
Manuel, who will turn 34 on June 18, was the talk of the town Friday when he told Spin,ph that he would rather be traded as he claimed that he was not approached by Alaska after the expiration of his contract at the end of 2020.
“Kung ganun lang ang gagawin, aalis na lang ako sa kanila. Sana i-trade na lang ako,” the 6-foot-4 forward, who has been with the Uytengsu-owned organization since 2014, was quoted as saying.
But to set the record straight, Cariaso said that the Aces management met with Manuel’s agent five days before his contract expired. And it was also the team who actually followed up on the offer, he added.
“Alaska management met with Vic’s representative and agent on December 26. This was the first day of negotiations, five days before he expires. It’s no question that Vic is our number one priority to re-sign,” he said.
“December 31, management followed up on the offer to see where it stood with Vic’s camp. The agent replied back, ‘Pinagiisipan pa’. Therefore, it is incorrect to claim that Alaska did not reach out to him.”
Cariaso said that Alaska offered Manuel a two-year max extension with a clause on the second year — similar to what team manager Dickie Bachmann said in a separate interview with PBA Rush.
“Alaska offered Vic a two-year max deal with a clause for the second year. The reason behind the clause is completely explained to Vic and which like any other clause considers player’s history with the team,” he said.
Cariaso did not delve deeper into what was discussed “to maintain respect,” but he said that they left the meeting “with an understanding on what possibilities the future may hold.”
“As always, I reminded him that doing things the right way will always be the best way—that honesty, integrity, and honor must never wither as we discuss plans while understanding each other’s situation.”