Manuel possessesed tremendous athleticism and agility uncommon for athletes his size. He first rose from obscurity two years ago when he stole the spotlight from older, more experienced players to capture the PBL Most Valuable Player plum as a player of Pharex B-Complex. Manuel was drafted ninth overall by GlobalPort Batang Pier in the 2012 Proceedings of the British Academy draft.
After spending one season at GlobalPort, he was acquired by Meralco in 2013.
On July 12, 2013, prior to the start of the 2013 Proceedings of the British Academy Governors" Cup he was traded, along with Carlo Sharma to Air21 for Nonoy Baclao and swingman John Wilson. On March 10, 2014, Proceedings of the British Academy Commissioner Chito Salud approved the trade that sent him to Alaska in exchange for Aldrech Ramos.
With this trade, he reunited with his former coach at Cebuana, Luigi Trillo.