Phoenix renews efforts to acquire Manuel

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    AFTER shipping Calvin Abueva to Magnolia, Phoenix Super LPG is now looking for an able replacement and now seems to be in hot pursuit of Alaska’s Vic Manuel.

    At least that’s what a reliable source told Malaya-Business Insight source. The source said the Fuel Masters have renewed their efforts to acquire the disgruntled Aces forward.

    “Nu’ng nawala si Calvin binuhay ng Phoenix ulit (iyung trade talks) at mukhang pursigido talaga sila,” said the source,

    “Kasi kailangan nila ng pamalit kay Calvin and pagkatapos na na-stall ulit ‘yung pirmahan ni Manuel at Alaska binuhay ulit nila usapan,” the source added.

    The source was referring to the contract talks between Manuel and Aces management, with the Aces offering a new two-year maximum deal.

    According the Manuel’s agent, Danny Espiritu, the Aces front office changed its offer, however, instead laying on the table a one-year deal.

    “Ni-recall ‘yung napag-usapan namin,” related Espiritu, who said the contract signing was supposed to be held last week.

    “Basically, one year na lang. After one conference, they will assess him. If he performs well, automatically guaranteed na second year. Kapag di satisfied sa inilaro, tatapusin na lang one year then negotiate ng bago.”

    Then came the Abueva trade announced Wednesday that sent him to Magnolia in exchange for Chris Banchero. Sweetening that deal was the two teams swapping their first rounds picks in next month’s rookie draft, giving the Fuel Masters’ 10th pick to Magnolia’s sixth, plus the Hotshots’ second round pick.

    Espiritu claimed no knowledge of Phoenix’s moves to acquire Manuel, but the other source, who had previously said that Alaska had been in talks with Meralco, NLEX and the San Miguel Corp. group for a possible trade for Manuel, persisted.

    Those picks acquired from Magnolia, said the source, could now be used by the Fuel Masters to sweeten a Manuel trade.

    Who among Phoenix’s active players to be thrown in is the big question, however.

    “Una nilang usapan walang nangyari kasi ang gusto ng Alaska si (Justin) Chua,” said the source.

    “Basially, iyon ang nagiging problema,” added the source. “Iyung mga hinihingi ng Alaska ayaw namang ibigay nu’ng kausap.”