WHETHER Vic Manuel will stay on with Alaska for the next two years or will play for another team were discussed by Jeff Cariaso, the team's second-year head coach, to the grizzled veteran as they tried to work out their respective futures.
This came on the heels of reports that Manuel 'wants to be traded to another team', but Cariaso issued a statement to PBA.ph after his discussions with the player's camp on Friday.
"I feel that it is my duty to share and clarify details that will complete the story. I met him last night (Friday) and he was able to share with me his concerns, plans and desires. He candidly expressed that his contract situation at almost 34 years old, makes him constantly think about his family's life after his career," wrote Cariaso in a text message.
"Of course, this thought is perfectly understood not only by one, but three coaches in our team -- Coach Danny (Ildefonso), Coach Tony (Dela Cruz) and I -- as we were all former players. It is on this note that I'd like to set the record straight."
According to Cariaso, Alaska management signified its desire to re-sign Manuel, and immediately met with the player's representative and agent, Danny Espiritu, on December 26, the first day of negotiations, five days before the expiration of the player's contract.
On December 31, 2020, Alaska management made a follow-up on the offer to see where it stood with Manuel's camp, but were told by the player's camp: "Pag-iisipan pa."
"Therefore, it is incorrect to claim that Alaska did not reach out to him. Alaska offered a two-year, maximum deal with a clause for the second year. The reason behind is completely explained to Vic and which like any other clause, considering the player's history with the team," added Cariaso.
Cariaso and Manuel ended the meeting with an understanding on what possibilities the future may hold.
"I will keep the details private to maintain respect. As always, I reminded him that doing things the right way will always be the best way -- that honesty, integrity, and honor must never wither as we discuss plans while understanding each other's situation, but all options were discussed," added Cariaso.
Manuel, a PBA journeyman in his early years playing in the big league, spent the longest tenure with Alaska where he played for six years and became a big part of the team's five finals runs, all of which ended up in second place finishes. With the Aces, the 6-foot-4, former PBA D-League MVP became a recipient of Mr. Quality Minutes and Co-Order of Merit awards in 2018. (RJ)