Frustrating has been the last couple of weeks for Vic Manuel.
And it all reached a boiling point for the 33-year-old native of Licab, Nueva Ecija last week when he demanded a trade out of Alaska.
But in his first-ever interview — which he granted to Sports All-In hosted by his former Cebuana Lhuiller head coach Beaujing Acot, Manuel was nothing but respectful for the franchise that he called home for the last seven years.
“Alam mo naman na love ko yung Alaska. Diyan ako tumagal e.
“Dati journeyman ako at every conference bago ang team ko. Nandiyan yung love and respect ko sa Alaska pero kung anuman ang mangyayari, hindi natin masabi,” said Manuel, who bounced around from GlobalPort to Meralco to Air21 during his first two years in the league.
Moreover, Manuel still sees a glimmer of hope that the Aces’ brass, headed by team governor Dickie Bachmann, will give him what he feels that he deserves.
“Hindi pa natin alam kung ano mangyayari. Kahit ano man mangyari, kailangan mag-move on. Kahit mawala ako, nandiyan pa rin naman yung team at yung players. Nandiyan pa rin yung suporta ko,” Manuel expressed.
“Pero malay natin magkasundo pa.”
After all, this whole saga has revolved around a contract extension.
According to Manuel’s agent Danny Espiritu, Manuel had sought a contract extension during the lockdown. Bachmann though said that he does not want to break PBA rules regarding contract extensions and the two camps would only talk about it during the start of the off-season, which was late December.
Alaska has gained the reputation of being a by-the-books team.
Then came December.
Manuel and Espiritu were expecting at least a three-year maximum extension which would amount to approximately P15,120,000 spread across 36 months. What Alaska offered was a two-year max with the second year being a team option.
“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,” explained Cariaso.
And when Cariaso and Manuel had a one-on-one meeting last Friday, Manuel was not able to get what he wanted.
“‘Yung kinuwento niya sa akin na ‘yun ang sinabi niya. ‘Ayaw ko na maglaro sa Alaska. Nakikiusap ako sa’yo coach, na tulungan mo ako ma-trade’,” bared Espiritu about what Manuel told him.
Safe to say, Alaska’s stance remained the same — second year is a team option and, worse, no extension until 2023.
And up until he is traded, Manuel remains hopeful.
Malay natin magkasundo pa.