Alaska big man Vic Manuel shrugged off an injury scare, saying that he will be ready just in time for the crucial Game 3 of their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-five semifinals series against Meralco on Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Known as the ‘Muscle Man’, the 6-foot-4 forward suffered an awkward fall in the third quarter of Game 2. He even played through pain early in the fourth period, but asked for substitution eventually.
Fortunately for the Aces, even without Manuel, they held on to a close 100-95 win to end the Bolts’ seven-game winning streak and tie their semis series at 1-1.
Manuel admitted to feeling pain from that stumble until now, explaining his absence on the court the rest of the game, even in the middle of Meralco’s massive late game uprising.
“Parang alanganin yung bagsak ko ba, yung pag-atake ko sa transition, parang pagbagsak ko, parang bumigay yung right leg ko. Medyo may pain kaya hindi ko na pinilit,” said the 31-year-old, who finished with just seven points and two rebounds in 13 minutes of play.
“Tinatanong din nila ako kanina kung kaya ko pa. Pinahinga ko na lang para sa next game, papakiramdaman ko pa. Medyo may pain talaga.”
The six-year pro also revealed that he had already been feeling a slight tightness as early as the quarterfinals, following a similarly hard fall in their game against San Miguel.
“Medyo tight na kasi yung hips ko eh, ITB (Iliotibial band syndrome) , so ayun bumaba (sa legs). Nangyari to nung quarterfinals versus San Miguel,” the native of Nueva Ecija shared.
“Nung bumagsak ako doon na alanganin talaga, nauna yung balakang ko. Mula noon, sumakit tapos simula noon inaalalayan ko na talaga.”
Nevertheless, the bruiser Manuel assured of his readiness in the pivotal Game 3, where Alaska will be gunning for a big 2-1 lead.
“Wala namang (malala na) initial diagnosis. Tightness lang talaga,” he cleared.
“Sa tingin ko, kaya ko naman. Kaya ko naman sa Game 3.”
On the flip side, Manuel joked about bracing for an even tougher task other than the upcoming Game 3 – doing 10 suicide runs as a punishment from Alaska head coach Alex Compton, as he was the only player to miss a free throw in the game.
Manuel split his charities early in the game, which proved to be the only scar in Alaska’s near perfect 20-of-21 free throw shooting.
“Oo nga eh (ako lang yung nag-miss). Binibiro rin ako ni coach kanina sa loob, 10 suicides daw ako bukas.”
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