The San Miguel Beer team left the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday after a breakthrough victory in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup and with urgent concerns about meeting the need for a healthier body.
The 93-83 triumph, which ended the Meralco Bolts’ two-game losing streak, came after four players left with injuries and two notable names, Terrence Romeo and rookie Kyt Jimenez, were injured in the game.
“I hope two of them can play for Quezon. Now we’ll see what happens with Terrence,” said Beermen coach Jorge Gallent.
Gallent and the Beermen will travel to Tiaong City, Quezon on Saturday to take on undefeated Converge FiberXers, hoping that Jericho Cruz and Jeron Teng will be cleared of their hamstring issues.
Cruz missed the first two games while Teng was involved in a shocking 117-113 overtime loss to NLEX Road Warriors a few days earlier in Antipolo City.
Marcio Lassiter is still recovering from a sprained ankle, while Vic Manuel has undergone knee surgery and is out for at least two months.
Meanwhile, Romeo had to be sidelined for the rest of the second half after feeling pain in his knee – a recurring injury he also experienced against NLEX. By the time the afternoon was over, he had scored nine points in 10 minutes.
“The main goal is for the swelling to go down because it compensates for the other muscles,” Romeo described in Filipino. “When I try to force it, I make my injury worse.
“I hope I can play as soon as possible, but I want to make sure I’m 100 percent ready because I always play my hardest and I always want to be explosive when I step on the court,” he added.
Jimenez finally made his PBA debut to cheers from the crowd, proving his popularity back in his days as an internet sensation. However, the 76th pick in September’s draft left the team in the fourth when Cliff Hodge elbowed him in the right eye while attacking the basket.
Import Ivan Aska scored 27 points and 13 rebounds and became one of the reasons why the Beermen team won.
June Mar Fajardo had 17 points and 15 rebounds and Chris Ross had 10, including five in a row that denied the Bolts a chance to get back into the game after the Beermen’s lead dwindled to four, 85-81, heading into the final two minutes.
Import Su Braimoh, who did not play in Japan due to visa issues, had 15 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals after a great start to his PBA career. INQ