April 14, 2024

Hungry Vic Manuel out to prove more for June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel

Hungry Vic Manuel out to prove more for June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel

The San Miguel Beermen refused to give any headway to the pesky Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Friday, winning 129-116, to complete the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations with a 9-2 slate.

Now adjusting to life without star big man June Mar Fajardo in the middle, San Miguel showed off its weapons in the victory against the import-less Rain or Shine, led by the now-healthy Vic Manuel who scored 23 points.

But he’s not satisfied.

“Pinu-push ko pa sarili ko. Hindi ako kuntento na ganun pa,” said Manuel, who explained that he’s still shaking off the rust and that he’s not yet at 100%.

“Actually, wala pa talaga ako sa timing. Parang kinukuha ko pa rin. Parang may inis pa rin sa sarili ko at hindi ako makapag-perform nang maganda. May nararamdaman pa rin ako kahit konti,” he elaborated.

Heading into the playoffs, the 6-foot-4 forward believes his solid performance on Friday will only bode well for himself and the team.

“Buti na lang medyo maganda ‘yung nilaro ko ngayon para pagdating sa playoffs, mataas pa kumpiyansa ko.”

Manuel will not have to carry the load alone. Against the Elasto Painters, the Beermen actually had five players who scored 20 or more. That includes import Cameron Clark who still made 20 despite a foul-plagued game. Backcourt members Marcio Lassiter and Cjay Perez scored 20 apiece. Center Moala Tautuaa had a huge double-double of 23 markers and 12 boards.

It seems like Fajardo isn’t missed at all—and that’s because Manuel, Tautuaa, and the rest are taking responsibility.

“Marami kaming good bigs sa team namin. Kailangan namin magtulong-tulong talaga kasi ‘yun wala si June Mar. Binubuhat niya kami sa lahat ng conference. Time namin para makatulong sa team namin.”

Coach Jorge Gallent recognizes the talent he has on the roster. He unleased them on Friday and he doesn’t plan on holding them back.

“Now, it’s their time to shine,” the coach said.

The Beermen, assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, now await the result of the TNT Tropang Giga-Barangay Ginebra San Miguel matchup to know the final playoff seedings.