MANILA, Philippines – Vic Manuel is reaching greater career heights and that is largely thanks to the extra work he puts in with former two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso.
“The Muscleman” eclipsed his career high in points yet again as he delivered 35 points to power the Alaska Aces to a 103-99 win over the Magnolia Hotshots on Sunday, June 10.
It was Manuel’s 6th straight game with at least 20 points and the Aces are obviously riding his success.
Alaska boasts a 6-1 record following a 6-game winning streak and it became just the 3rd team to punch a ticket to the quarterfinals of the Commissioner’s Cup.
While Manuel’s in-game performances are all his doing, he credits Ildefonso for the rise in his play.
“Sobrang laking bagay ni coach Danny. Dami kong natutunan sa kaniya, lalo na sa post, talagang kung meron na akong post move dati, talagang nadagdagan pa e. Natututo na rin ako mag-isip kung paano yung igagalaw ko,” he said.
(Coach Danny is a big help. I learn a lot from him, most especially in the post. If I had post moves before, I can say I have learned more now. I am now also cerebral in my approach of the game.)
Under Ildefonso’s tutelage, Manuel has become not just a scoring machine, but an efficient one.
The 30-year-old forward is averaging 24.9 points on an ultra-efficient 60% shooting in 7 games. He is norming 17.9 shots attempts and making 10.7 of those.
He is 6th in scoring this conference and the second best local scorer in the Top 10, besting teammate Antonio Campbell, Rain or Shine’s Reggie Johnson, GlobalPort’s Malcolm White and Phoenix’s Matthew Wright.
With Manuel holding the ball, opponents are always kept on their toes as he learned not just to score underneath but from the outside as well.
“Ine-extra ako ni coach Danny sa shooting e, sa perimeter, 70 shots after the practice. 3-points, 30 shots, lahat made,” Manuel said.
(Coach Danny is giving me extra shooting drills. After practice, I have to make 70 shots from the perimeter and 30 shots from 3-point distance.)
“Nakakapagod talaga pero masasabi ko talagang malaking bagay ‘yun, nakakatulong sa akin. Hindi lang ako sa post ngayon, talagang may face up na ako tapos pumapasok ‘yung mga perimeter.”
(It is exhausting but I can say that those extra drills help me a lot. I am not just a post up guy, I also have a face up game and my perimeter shots are falling.)
The Aces are missing the services of Calvin Abueva, who is suspended indefinitely by the team, and Jeron Teng, who is recovering from stab wounds he sustained in a brawl, but Manuel said they will still remain competitive.
“Siguro malaking kawalan rin sa amin sila Calvin tsaka Jeron pero kailangang i-continue namin ‘yung ginagawa namin e, hindi naman pwedeng umi-stop e.”
(Calvin and Jeron are big losses for us but we have to continue what we are doing, we cannot stop.)
Alaska puts its winning streak on the line against the Meralco Bolts next Sunday, June 16, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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