Alaska forward Vic Manuel has yet to get clearance from team doctors to resume playing as he continues to recover from a strained right calf he sustained early in the playoffs of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“We’re still waiting for the clearance,” said Alaska assistant coach Louie Alas in a text message to Bulletin/Tempo yesterday as Alaska conducted its practice session at the Hoops Gym in San Juan.
The 6-4 Manuel, who averages nearly 13 points and five rebounds this conference, has missed the last three games for Alaska after he strained his calf in Game 2 of the Aces’ quarterfinal series against the Tropang TNT.
Alaska defeated TNT to barge into the finals for the fourth time in the last five conferences, but the team is down 0-2 in the best-of-seven championship series versus Rain or Shine.
Team officials initially said Manuel will be two weeks, but it will be almost three weeks by the time Alaska meets Rain or Shine for Game 3 tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“He’s day-to-day pa din naman,” said Alas of Manuel’s status.
Manuel is an integral part in the rotation of coach Alex Compton, and has played well in forming a tandem with fellow forward Calvin Abueva, the leading contender for the Best Player of the Conference.
Aside from Manuel, Alaska is also without lead point guard JVee Casio, the fourth year veteran who is out with a bruised right knee he suffered during the elimination round.