Photo from PBA

Vic Manuel finally got his wish to play for the team he rooted for as a youngster after being traded to the San Miguel Beermen.

Manuel was traded for the second time in 72 hours Monday, Nov. 8 when he was sent by the NorthPort Batang Pier to the Beermen in exchange for franchise great and former Most Valuable Player Arwind Santos.

He didn’t even have a cup of coffee at NorthPort, which got the muscular forward from Phoenix Super LPG in a multi-player deal that also involved Sean Anthony.

Instead, Manuel will be joining SMB, his favorite team when Danny Ildefonso and Dondon Hontiveros were among those who played the starring roles in the 2000s.

He ended up being teammates with Hontiveros with the Alaska Aces while Ildefonso gave some inputs to Manuel after joining the same team as an assistant coach.

“San Miguel talaga favorite kong team,” Manuel said last January in a podcast of Beaujing Acot, his former coach with Cebuana Lhuillier in the PBA D-League.

SMB was one of the teams on Manuel’s wishlist when asked Alaska for a trade at the start of the year. But the Aces wound up accepting a deal with the Fuel Masters which included a swap of first and second round picks.

Interestingly, Manuel will join forces with the Beermen team that handed him three of his four defeats in the PBA Finals.

Manuel and the Aces lost all three to SMB in the 2015 Philippine Cup, 2015 Governors’ Cup and the 2016 Philippine Cup.

The last was the most heartbreaking of all as Alaska blew a commanding 3-0 lead in the 2016 title series, allowing SMB to become the first team to pull off the very rare feat.

Had Alaska prevented a meltdown, Manuel would have likely been awarded the Finals Most Valuable Player.

But the trade to SMB has opened opportunities for Manuel to be on the winning side as he joins a talented cast led by June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo, CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa.

Source: Manila Bulletin (