Vic Manuel churned out 22 points and nine rebounds in one of his finest games in a San Miguel Beer jersey, helping the Beermen rise to joint fourth place with a 104-99 win over the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo Wednesday night.
Starting in lieu of June Mar Fajardo, Manuel seized the opportunity, going 8-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the stripe as he made a big impact in their second win in a row that propelled the team to joint fourth with the Alaska Milk Aces at 5-3.
The Fuel Masters, meanwhile, dropped to joint sixth with the TNT Tropang Giga at 4-4, having suffered a third loss in their last five outings.
“Parang roller-coaster kami… talo first two games, then nanalo ng tatlong sunod… natalo uli then back-to-back wins. So far so good naman, and you can see that in the body language of the players. Gustong-gusto nilang manalo,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
“Every game is important at di dapat sayangin ang opportunity. Nagtulong-tulong kami in this game para manalo,” said Manuel.
The 6-foot-4 forward figured in a verbal tussle with Phoenix import Dominique Sutton and seemed to be fired up by the incident.
“Actually, expected naming siya lumaro ng ganyan kahit na playing with limited minutes. He was like that from his previous team (Alaska) at yon ang ine-expect namin sa kanya,” said Austria of Manuel.