PRACTICALLY scratch NLEX from Vic Manuel's wishlist.
No less than coach Yeng Guiao admitted he is interested in Manuel, but the price the Road Warriors may pay just to acquire the forward from the Aces may be too heavy.
"Baka 'yung gusto nila sa amin 'di naman namin kayang ibigay, di wala ring mangyayari," explained 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 pero 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, pwede naman iyon."
A dispute with Alaska over a new contract prompted Manuel to come out in public and state his intention of playing for another team. He has listed NLEX as one of his dream destinations along with Phoenix and San Miguel Beer.
Guiao, however, said he now has a near-complete roster for the coming PBA season with 13 players, with the remaining spots to be filled up in the March 14 draft where NLEX owns the rights to the third and fourth picks overall.
"Meron kaming dalawang first round picks so parang iyon na remaining slots namin," said Guiao. "We're almost all set."
Guiao, however, was quick to point out that any trade talk must be started by Alaska.
"I think the problem there is, si Vic Manuel mismo nagsabi na ayaw na niyang maglaro sa Alaska," noted the grizzled 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."
Should Aces management does so, Guiao is willing to listen.
"Sino ba naman ang may ayaw kay Vic Manuel?" said Guiao. "Pero it will still really depend on siguro the conditions proposed by Alaska, if they will be interested also in negotiating with us.
"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." (NC)