|Vic Manuel is still looking forward to being coached by Coach Yeng Guiao, this time with NLEX. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA--Vic Manuel bared on Sunday night that he hoped Coach Yeng Guiao would draft him in 2012 when the latter was still with Rain Or Shine.
"Noong nagpa-draft ako, parang gusto ko mapunta dati sa Rain Or Shine talaga eh kasi gusto ko kay Coach Yeng," the embattled Alaska forward said in the Sports All In podcast.
The six-foot-four forward believes Guiao is the right guy for him to unleash his true potential, even baring that he was playing guard at times during his stellar collegiate career with the Philippine School of Business Administration.
"Naglalaro akong guwardiya. Na-miss ko nang maglaro ng outside. Favorite kong maglaro ng pick-and-roll dati pa. Dati, may mga screener ako noong college. Yun ang gusto kong maipakita. Kaya kong gumawa ng ganito. Kaya kong gawin ito, yung tumira outside," Manuel further told current Makati Skyscrapers coach Beaujing Acot, the host of the said podcast.
The Elasto Painters, who had the seventh pick in the 2012 draft, actually had a shot at taking Manuel as he was available after the sixth pick.
But after Ginebra shockingly passed on Chris Tiu and took Chris Ellis instead at number six, ROS did not hesitate on taking Tiu at seven.
Tiu would go on to become one of the E-Painters' key players in their most recent championship, the 2016 PBA Commissioner's Cup title, before announcing an early retirement at age 33 on January 2019.
Meanwhile, Magnolia, then bearing the B-Meg name, took Manuel with the ninth overall pick, but he was sent to NorthPort, still known as GlobalPort, in a three-team trade with Barako Bull right on draft day.
After a journeyman rookie campaign, Manuel found a home with Alaska when he was traded there during the middle of the 2013-14 season, helping the team enter the finals five times.
Playing in a minor collegiate league which lacked media mileage, Manuel only began getting some national television limelight when the University of the Philippines tapped him as one of the non-Fighting Maroon reinforcements for the 2010 PBL PG Flex Erase Placenta Cup.
Manuel led the Pharex-backed UP squad to the finals only to lose after a grueling five-game series to Excelroof-San Sebastian led by Calvin Abueva, who would become his bosom buddy at Alaska at the peak of their PBA careers.
Due to his size and his hops, Manuel was "relegated" to the forward spot during his developmental league days, which also included a stint with defunct PBA D-League side Pacific Pipes coached by current Phoenix mentor Topex Robinson, and eventually in the PBA.
However, Manuel believes what he eventually became in the latter years of his career was not how he exactly envisioned it.
"Pagdating sa PBA, yung talagang laro ko, di ko talaga nailabas at maipakita," he further said.
Until now, the 33-year-old Manuel believes Guiao would make him a better player, so he listed the latter's current team, NLEX, as one of his preferred trade destinations.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno