ALASKA's bid to make it to the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals suffered two major blows Sunday, one of them coming from outside the playing court.
Moments after the Aces' 96-114 loss to San Miguel Beer, Vic Manuel announced he will not be able to suit up for the Uytengsu-owned franchise after aggravating the back injury that has kept him out of the season-opening tournament.
Now it seems Alaska's top local player last season won't be seeing action until the next conference as per doctor's orders.
"Negative ako, kasi nasaktan ako last Friday," related Manuel, referring to an inadvertent hit he received from a teammate during his fourth practice session with the team.
"Natamaan ako, eh. Medyo malakas iyung tama. Kaya iyung quarterfinals, negative na iyon," added the muscular forward.
"Mukhang next conference na lang."
The loss dropped Alaska to a 4-6 record and in danger of being forced out of the top eight teams advancing to the next round.
The Aces must win their last elims assignment against NorthPort Wednesday to entertain thoughts of qualifying for the quarterfinals.
Manuel, who averaged 16 points and almost five rebounds in 50 games as a reliever last season, surely could have helped. But fate had other plans.
"Sayang. Okay na sana ako, natamaan pa," rued Manuel, who underwent surgery during the off-season..
"Masakit, eh. Alam mo iyung parang una mong injury? Nahihirapan akong yumuko. Gustong-gusto ko na talagang maglaro, gigil na gigil na," added Manuel.
"Pero wala talagang magagawa, eh. Hanggang gigil na lang muna." (NC)