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Manuel admits he did expect Cone calling him up for Gilas Men

A night after facing off with Junemar Fajardo, Vic Manuel will practice alongside him with Gilas Men. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

STA. ROSA, Laguna -- Vic Manuel is one of the PBA's blue chip players.

Despite being undersized for a power forward at six-foot-four, he makes it up by his brute strength and work ethic, making him one of the game's best bruisers.

So getting a national team call-up is a long time coming for the Alaska star.

However, Manuel himself could not believe that no less than new Gilas Pilipinas Men coach Tim Cone wants him to be with the pool for the Southeast Asian Games.

"'Di ko ine-expect," Manuel said on Sunday night about him "handpicked" for Gilas Men duty.

He then said that Cone wants him to continue being the tough guy who never gets intimidated quickly.

"Yun talaga yung sinabi niya sa akin. Yun ang ine-expect niya pati yung perimeter shooting," Manuel bared. 

It will not take long for the 32-year-old forward to jump into national team training as Cone set the first practice of Gilas Men on Monday night.

"Excited na medyo kinakabahan. First time eh," Manuel shared his feelings ahead of the training.

He then vowed, "Kung ano yung binibigay kong best sa Alaska, mas dodoblehin ko yung effort ko doon."

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