It looks like Chris Banchero’s ankle injury is now a thing of the past.
The Alaska Aces guard shared that his ankle is doing much better now, far from his condition back in Game One of their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series with the Meralco Bolts where he admitted it was “really painful.”
And not feeling any more pain helped him greatly on Tuesday night.
The Filipino-Italian was in his element in Game Two, producing all-around numbers of 13 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists to help his Aces even the race-to-three series to a game apiece with a thrilling 100-95 victory.
“It was good. I told them my ankle feels good. I told ’em I’m good to go, I’m a hundred percent. This is a huge game, probably the biggest game for us,” he said.
“I knew how important this game was – we all did – and guys stepped up.”
Banchero and the Aces did have to avert a meltdown before walking away with the W. They already had a 20-point lead in the third quarter, but the Bolts made a furious rally and knocked within one, 95-96, with 14 ticks left to play.
Luckily, fellow guards Jvee Casio and Simon Enciso coolly made their free throws inside the final 7.7 seconds to settle the final count.
“They weathered the storm in the first game, we weathered them tonight. It shows how good of a basketball teams we both are.
“Man, that was intense! That took a lot of energy to get the job done. They’re a tough team,” said Banchero.
“We kinda play the same basketball, just never giving up. We played really well as a team,” he added.
The series has now been reduced to a best-of-three. For Banchero, he expects nothing but a grind-out affair come the pivotal Game Three this Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome, just like Game Two’s final period.
“Game Three is gonna be just like that fourth quarter,” said the 29-year-old.
“Both teams know how important this game is trying to go two (wins)-one (loss) – it’s the first team to three. It’s gonna be intense,” he added. “I hope everybody comes out and watches because it’s gonna be good basketball on both sides of the ball.”
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