Moving on: Manuel, Alaska begin picking up pieces after Finals loss

Even after failing to bring home the PBA title in the recent Philippine Cup Finals, Alaska forward Vic Manuel is taking heed of coach Alex Compton’s message in practice to forget the past and move forward.

Manuel, the most consistent Alaska player in the just-concluded Finals, said they can’t just hang their heads too low after wasting a 3-0 series lead against San Miguel.

“Medyo malungkot pa sa practice pero alam naman ni coach na masakit sa amin yung pagkatalo sa Finals pero sinabi niya sa amin na hindi yun reason para ma-down kami. Kailangan lang mag-continue kami to work hard,” Manuel told FOX Sports.

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The Aces resumed practice on Tuesday as they began picking up the pieces of another failed PBA championship under coach Alex Compton.

The Philippine Cup Finals debacle was the third in the last four conferences against the Beermen.

San Miguel subdued Alaska, 4-3 in the all-Filipino Finals last season, before sweeping the Aces, 4-0, in the Governors Cup.

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Manuel, however, is looking at the positive, especially with former PBA Best Import Robert Dozier returning for a 3rd tour of duty with the Fred Uytengsu-owned franchise.

“Kundisyon si Rob kasi kahit nung nasa Finals pa Kami, nagpapa-kundisyon na rin siya,” the wide-bodied, undersized Alaska forward added.

Manuel said he liked the fact that the 6-foot-8 Dozier is a defense-oriented player and a solid rebounder.

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Dozier, a former college teammate of Chicago Bull star Derrick Rose at Memphis, owned PBA career averages of 24.2 points, 16.4 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 assists.

He led the Aces at the forefront in 2013 during the franchise’s Commissioner’s Cup title conquest, marking the first PBA crown of Alaska in the post-Tim Cone era. — By Richard Dy