As Someone Who Has Seen Manuel Play Against Magic City Players................. Posted on August 25, 2021 at 05:03:06 PM by Stu Neiman
I have seen Manuel play against Magic City players since 2018, but more reasonably since 2019 when the play began to improve.
For reference purposes I have seen Manuel play both singles & doubles against Magic City players, maybe not 100 times but at least dozens of times and several hundred points. One example - in the Spring of 2019 Toto & Manuel played against the best at Magic City and won the last game 15 to 11 (or 12). They won but it was not the "blow-out" anyone, myself included, would have expected. More importantly everyone had fun.
As the play at Magic City has improved greatly since then even Manuel will tell you that he would do well but would not necessarily dominate any of our top players as William suggests. Now part of this is Manuel's 21 years of professional play, part is the raw Jai-Alai talent of players like Douglas and part of it is the court. Manuel has told me that the play at Magic City is faster paced and that the "ball comes faster" at Magic City. Also without a chic-chac and no real chula passing is less important since everything comes out. Without doubt Manuel would be among the top 3 players in day-to day play on our court.
One thing about the folks who post herein as that they are all passionate about the sport but as I've said multiple times Magic City is not for everyone. Never has been never will be. But that should not cloud the view of those who know Jai-Alai about what constitutes good & great Jai-Alai play. The glass & composite walls do not take away from the skills of those who play there daily. By extension those who have played against granite & concrete walls are not (or at least no longer) inherently superior. Readers would be stunned by some of the traditional Jai-Alai players who have presented an interest in playing at Magic City. This phase of my Jai-Alai career is becoming more interesting by the week.