ALASKA is still nurturing hopes that Vic Manuel would change his mind and sign another contract with the team.
The Aces, however, had started exploring other options in case the disgruntled forward doesn’t, including initial talks with other teams for a possible trade.
“Sa ngayon, we’re still wheeling and dealing,” Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso told Malaya-Business Insight.
“May mga options na nandiyan, but we’re still exploring kung iyun ‘yung tama for us.”
The door remains open for Manuel.
“We’re hoping for the best,” said Cariaso. “At least for us, sa Alaska, hindi pa nagsarado. We’d still welcome him, hoping na as a professional maglalaro pa rin siya ng maayos.”
Cariaso begged off from naming the teams they have started talking to, claiming it is for the “protection of everybody.” But he also pointed out that what they are doing is no different from what others have done since trades were allowed by the league last Jan. 4.
“Kasi ngayon we’re all exploring. Lahat naman ng teams ganu’n din, explore kung sino puwedeng ganoon, baka puwede si ganito,” Cariaso pointed out,
Rain or Shine and NorthPort completed a deal last Monday, with the Elasto Painters sending Abel Doliguez and Sydney Onwubere to the Batang Pier in exchange for Bradwyn Guinto.
Manuel’s case has festered long before that.
The PSBA product has made it known he wants out of the team he has played for the last seven seasons after failing to get the desired new contract from Alaska.
Aces management has offered a fresh two-year deal, with a team option on the second year. Manuel, however, wants a three-year pact.
“I think we did our part in explaining to him ‘yung offer namin,” said Caraso, who personally talked to Manuel last Jan. 8.
“Ini-explain ko naman reason behind the (team option) clause. Sabi ko, ‘More to challenge you, to motivate you.’ Sabi ko, ‘You shouldn’t look at it na negative.’ Feeling ko, mas hinahanap niya ‘yung guaranteed na two years or more,” added Cariaso.
“Sabi ko naman sa kanya, at his age, I understand kung bakit naghahanap siya ng longer term. But for me, sabi ko weigh out all the options, kasi hindi naman ganoon kadali.
‘Nagpapa-trade ka, tapos, you know, a lot has to happen para mangyari iyon.’”
In case Alaska fails to strike a deal for Manuel and the latter refuses to sign on the dotted line, the 33-year-old faces the prospects of sitting out the coming PBA season tentatively set to start on April 9.
“Iyun ‘yung options na ipinaliwanag ko sa kanya. Even the option na walang mangyayari sa trade. Wala tayong makukuha. I told him it has to be fair. Di pwedeng kung sino-sino lang tatanggapin natin sa Alaska,” said Cariaso.
“We’re trying to see kung ano ma-o-offer ng ibang teams. Kung feeling namin fair for us then we’ll proceed. Pero may chance din na walang mangyayari,” added Cariaso.
“So we have to understand, pag dumating ‘yung point na iyon, may dalawang choices siya. Either pipirma siya sa amin, maglalaro pa rin siya sa amin. Or hindi siya pipirma, mag-si-sit out siya.”