GILAS-ables: Vic Manuel

GILAS-ables” is a series of articles that will discuss different players who could make a case for joining the Gilas pool. This series will include Filipinos and Fil-foreign players plying their trade not just in the PBA but also in other leagues, including the US NCAA, the UAAP, and the PBA D-League.
In the fourth article in this series, we’ll talk about a player who’s represented the Philippines in international 3×3 competitions already but has not generated even a single peep with regards to his possible inclusion in the Gilas pool.
PLAYER INFO
Name: Manuel, Vic
Team: Alaska Aces
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 201 lbs
College: PSBA
PBA STATS
Current Season:
16.4 points per game, 8 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, 1.4 steals per game
Career:
8.8 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 1 assist per game, .5 steals per game
WHY HE SHOULD BE IN THE GILAS POOL
Much like Sean Anthony, a Gilas-able discussed earlier, Vic Manuel was a so-so player until this year, when something suddenly clicked inside the head of the 4-year veteran.
After 2 uneventful years with other teams then a year adjusting to the Alaska Aces system, Manuel suddenly blossomed this year, which was highlighted with a victory over the Terence Romeo-led Manila West 3×3 team and a stint in the 3×3 Master’s Tournament in Abu Dhabi, where they finished in 6th place.
If selected to the Gilas pool, Manuel should be expected to challenge, ironically enough, Alaska teammate Calvin Abueva’s role as slasher/driver, garbage basket man and general, all-around pest.
A shade taller than Abueva at 6-4, Manuel will still be undersized as a small forward, the only position that makes sense for him. However, Manuel does have the heft and muscle to bother much taller players, even while lacking Abueva’s superior foot speed.
Where Manuel is more reliable than Abueva and even other options at SF like Gabe Norwood and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser is at scoring around the basket. He barely has bad shooting nights because he’s very picky about his shots and he never strays far from his strengths.
He also has enough bulk to absorb contact and finish through them as well as the quickness and the guile at the post to get his shot off before shot blockers can react to him. And while it is highly unlikely that Manuel will be the primary scoring option at the blocks, it doesn’t hurt to have him there, especially when Fajardo/Slaughter are out of the game and Blatche is camped out at the 3point line.
But for him to realistically get a shot at a Gilas slot, he has to prove he can play defense on known scorers. That means shutting down the likes of Arwind Santos and Ranidel de Ocampo or, better yet, the mid-sized imports of the league. If Manuel can do that, then he’ll have a leg up on his competition at SF.
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