Protect yourselves at all times doesn’t only apply to boxing.
The theory can be applied to an incident that occurred last Saturday during the game between the Aces and the Road Warriors when Alaska Milk forward Vic Manuel and NLEX import Al Thornton. Both of them got entangled in the latter stage of the fourth quarter when the NBA veteran drove hard to the basket and was challenged by a phalanx of Alaska defense.
Manuel was just standing and getting ready to defend when the import fell on him. Both of them lost balance as their knees collided.
The Alaska forward appeared to have received a more painful beating as the bigger, heavier and more protected Thornton landed on him.
Manuel suffered a hyper extended knee in the process and had to be helped out. He wasn’t able to finish the game.
“Nangingilo siya sa loob kaya medyo nahihirapan akong lumakad,” said Manuel. “Ang tigas ng tuhod nung import, may bakal yata eh. Naka-brace kasi siya.”
Using braces as protection isn’t new when playing in the PBA.
During the late 1980s, Yoyoy Villamin, who was then playing for Alaska, had to wear braces to protect his knee injury. His defenders had been complaining dealing in some sort of pain each time they try to defend the Bicolano Superman and asked the league to have the braces removed.
Instead, Villamin had to wear a different protection as soon as the league asked him to change his knee braces.
Manuel suffered similar incident when his knee banged up with Thornton. The Alaska forward will have MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of his injury. Two members of the squad are already on the injured list (JVee Casio and Sonny Thoss) and losing the 6-foot-3 former MVP of the PBA D-League will be a big blow to the Aces’ campaign.