Ball in Aces’ hands: Guiao

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    NLEX coach Yeng Guiao admitted interest in acquiring Vic Manuel, but pointed out the Road Warriors initiating any trade for the Alaska power forward is a doubtful proposition at the moment.

    In an interview with Malaya-Business Insight yesterday, Guiao said the Aces are the ones who should start talks about any trade for Manuel since the pressure is on them.

    “Interested, lalo pa na siya (Manuel) naman ang nag-indicate na gusto niyang maglaro sa amin. Sino ba naman ang may ayaw kay Vic Manuel?” said Guiao.

    “Bu it will still really depend on the conditions proposed by Alaska, if they will be interested also in negotiating with us. I think the best we can do is to reciprocate this, to indicate also that we are interested,” added Guiao.

    “So from there, siguro kung interesado sila, dapat sila mag-initiate ng usapan. But we are interested. I think that’s the most we can do. Kung mismong si Vic Manuel ang nagsabi na interesado siyang maglaro sa amin.

    “We will open our doors but we will not come forward and make a proposal. They (Aces) have to initiate it.”

    A dispute with Alaska about a new contract prompted Manuel to come out and say he wants to play for another team. He has listed NLEX as one of his dream destinations, along with Phoenix and San Miguel Beer.

    For Guiao, Manuel wanting out from Alaska put the Aces at a disadvantage in any trade talk, specifically with NLEX.

    “I think the problem there is, si Vic mismo nagsabi na ayaw na niyang maglaro sa Alaska,” noted the veteran tactician.  “There is pressure on Alaska, really, to find a trade. There is no pressure on us to find a trade.  I think in terms of leverage malaking bagay iyon.”

    There is also the matter of what Alaska would want in return.

    “Baka ‘yung gusto nila sa amin di naman namin kayang ibigay di wala ring mangyayari,” offered Guiao.

    “I think that’s part of the consideration, who we have to give up. Sa akin kasi, malaking asset pa rin iyang si Vic Manuel but I don’t want to give up somebody who will also be a big contributor to our cause,” Guiao also said.

    “Of course, value-for-value iyan. Alam naman namin iyon, we understand that. But I think as long as it’s reasonable, as long as it’s fair, both sides benefit, p’wede naman iyon.”

    At the moment, however, Guiao has a near-complete roster with 13 players, including frontliners JR Quinahan, Raul Soyud and Michael Miranda, who were recently signed to new contracts.

    The Road Warriors are now waiting for the rookie draft, where they hold the rights to the third and fourth picks overall, on March 14 to complete their lineup for the coming season tentatively set to kick off on April 9.

    “Meron kaming dalawang first round picks so parang iyon na remaining slots namin,” said Guiao. “We’re almost all set.”