Alaska bruiser Vic Manuel has been ruled out for Game 3 on Wednesday night, leaving the Aces no other choice but to double their efforts anew and find a way to way as they trail 0-2 against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their best-of-seven PBA Commissioner’s Cup titular showdown.
The 6-foot-3 Manuel showed up at the Aces’ practice on Tuesday afternoon at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City and admitted he won’t be able to suit up any time soon since the tear on his right calf muscle has not fully healed yet.
“Hindi ako malalalaro kasi sabi ni coach (Alex Compton), ipahinga na lang. Gusto ko sana maglaro kasi hindi 100 percent. Baka mamaya bumigay ulit sa game. Lalong lumala ‘yung injury,” he said, visibly disappointed with his predicament.
Compton, in a separate interview, confirmed Manuel won’t see action in Game 3, saying: “He’s definitely not playing tomorrow.”
Sidelined since their knockout battle with dethroned champion Tropang TNT in the quarterfinals stage, the 6-foot-4 Manuel admitted he tried to join Alaska’s training session last Monday but felt his injury hasn’t really doing him any favor.
“‘Yung injury ko, mahirap talaga pagalingin agad. Napunit talaga ‘yung muscle. Kahapon nag-try ako mag-practice kaso may pumitik na naman. Ngayon sumakit, napunit kasi,” he said. “‘Yun pa ‘yung strong foot ko kaya mahirap gumalaw. Kasi nandoon talaga lahat ng pwersa. Mahirap talaga.”
Even if he’s determined to give the Aces any kind of help they need against the Elasto Painters, Manuel said he’s also cautious assessing the progress of his injury, even raising speculations that he could sit out the rest of the finals.
“Nag-i-improve naman kaso hindi kaya maging 100 percent. Hanggang sa series na ‘to, mahihirapan. Hindi ko pa rin masabi kasi ginagawaan pa rin ng paraan para makabalik ako kaso ‘yun nga, mahirap kunin talaga na makabalik ng 100 percent,” said the former Philippine School of Business Administration standout.
“Hindi pa ako nakakapag-(on)-court (drills) wala din sa kundisyon pero ready naman ako kung sakaling maging better pa sa susunod na araw,” Manuel concluded. – By Jerome Lagunzad
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports