With the way Alaska is playing in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs, injured forward Vic Manuel has high hopes that the Aces could reach the Finals for the 4th time in the last 5 conferences.
The 6-foot-3 Manuel sat out Friday’s quarterfinal knockout match, but he was hardly needed after Alaska ended the 1-year reign of Tropang TNT, 99-81 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Fit-again import Robert Dozier led Alaska’s defense-oriented effort, firing 20 points, hauling down 14 rebounds and adding 4 blocks against a badly-outclassed TNT side.
“Ang ganda ng laro nila kanina, lalo na sa depensa. Saka yung communication nila nandun lahat,” Manuel told FOX Sports after the game.
Manuel said he’ll be out for at least 2 to 3 weeks after MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) result on Thursday, revealed that he sustained a tear on his right calf.
The former Philippine School of Business Administration forward injured his right calf in Alaska’s 85-81 win over TNT in Game 2 to force the winner-take-all match.
The 9th overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft said he’ll just rest his calf for the rest of week, before starting his rehab next Monday.
But Manuel said there’s a strong chance he’ll be able to rejoin the team should the Aces get past top seed Meralco Bolts in their best-of-5 semifinal series.
“Kung umabot kami sa Finals, sabi ng mga PT namin makakabalik ako,” he said.
The Aces and the Bolts open their semifinal series next Monday, 7 p.m. at the Big Dome. – By Richard Dy
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