For Vic Manuel, the coming Season 45 Philippine Basketball Association will be anybody’s ball game.
Manuel, 33, an eight-year PBA veteran, has been spending more time training and conditioning alone in his home since the entire nation’s quarantine period started more than five months ago.
The former Philippine School of Business Administration stalwart said that due to his continuous training, he is ready for the competition anytime once the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is gone. He also believes that everybody will be on the same even playing field.
“Walang liyamado, pare-pareho lang kaming walang laro, so walang masasabing may advantage,” said the 6’4” power forward Manuel, adding that playing basketball five-on-five or the usual scrimmages is the effective and more efficient training regimen for players to improve.
“Iba pa rin ‘yung laro sa court and takbuhan, doon mo makukuha ‘yung timing. Konting hangin lang kapag strength and conditioning,” added Manuel, who averaged 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 22 games last Season 44.
“Our team is providing us with different conditioning programs, which we do together in Zoom. More on strength and conditioning lang talaga,” Manuel said.
He admitted that just like everybody else, he is tired of the usual strength and conditioning sessions and wants to play actual basketball, but any contact sport is still not allowed yet by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Manuel will be supported by scorer Mike Digregorio, Jeron Teng, Abu Tratter, veteran Sonny Thoss and Maverick Ahanmisi, among others, under the tutelage of Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso once the season resumes, hopefully by mid-October.