Alaska’s Manuel admits need to regain focus after subpar game against Ginebra

forward Vic Manuel (87) looks to score against Ginebra’s Justin
Brownlee. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Alaska forward Vic Manuel once again put
up big numbers for the Aces when they played the Barangay
Ginebra Gin Kings on Sunday, but even he was not satisfied with
the effort that he gave.

Manuel scored 20 points against Ginebra – the ninth time this
conference that he reached the 20-point mark – but he made only
seven of 18 shots from the field and was a minus-19 in 22
minutes. The Gin Kings won in a rout, 105-86, handing Alaska
its second consecutive defeat.

“Ang sama ng start namin, ang lambot,” Manuel said. “‘Yung
Ginebra, sobrang aggressive nila. Kami, ayun, sobrang soft
namin kaya natambakan siguro kami.”

The Aces trailed, 30-16, at the end of the opening frame and
never recovered, eventually going down by as much as 33 points
against the rampaging Gin Kings.

“Parang nag-relax. Masyadong kumpiyansa,” Manuel said of his

Manuel did not spare himself from criticism. The “Muscle Man”
acknowledged that he was lacking in the game as well,
particularly on the defensive end of the floor.

“Kailangan siguro, mas focused ako,” he admitted. “Nawawala rin
ako sa depensa eh.”

“Nawala ‘yung communication namin, lalo na sa mga ball screen.
Kailangan siguro, mag-focus talaga ako,” he added.

Manuel, who is currently averaging 23.8 points and 6.10
rebounds per game for Alaska, stressed that they need to regain
the focus that propelled them to a seven-game winning streak
midway through the conference – especially with a must-win game
coming up.

“Sa last game namin, hindi puwedeng ganito,” said Manuel, as
the Aces gear up for a 12-day break ahead of their showdown
against Phoenix on July 6.

Manuel made it clear that their game against the Fuel Masters
is a must-win – not only to snap a two-game slide, but also to
enter the quarterfinals with momentum.

“Kailangan makuha namin ‘yung panalo, para pagdating namin sa
playoffs, maganda ‘yung tatakbuhin namin, maibalik namin ‘yung
pagiging aggressive namin,” he said. “‘Yun ang nawala sa amin
ng last two games eh.”

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