Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser did not have the welcome he had hoped for but was nonetheless glad to be back following a long layoff due to an injury.
NLEX got blown out by Magnolia but the sophomore served as a bright spot with his return alone as he has fully recovered from the fractured leg he suffered during Gilas Pilipinas’ 32nd Southeast Asian Games campaign in Cambodia.
“I thought I played fine,” he told reporters moments after their 99-72 defeat at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. “It hates to lose. We’re 2-2, so we needed that win. Magnolia’s really good. [But] I felt OK out there.
“My wind, my conditioning needs a little working on. But all in all, I came out healthy. Happy to be back out there on the court. I had fun,” he added.
Ganuelas-Rosser got cleared only two weeks ago, which was a big sigh of relief after a ‘minor setback’ stalled what would’ve been an earlier return for him.
“It was a long six months. I had three stress fractures in my left leg then I was just resting, and then I had a little minor setback,” he said,
“So, I had to wait another about half a month, then two weeks ago, I got cleared to go. Just coming down here and trying to help in whatever way I can.”
The 29-year-old was brought into the starting unit by Coach Frankie Lim in his first game back. He played for a total of 25 minutes and 21 seconds, which might have been longer if he hadn’t fouled out early in the fourth.
He left with seven points to his name on 3-of-8 shooting from the field, three rebounds, an assist, and a game-high four blocks.
Ganuelas-Rosser joined a team that’s in the middle of a readjustment, with Kevin Alas out anew due to an ACL injury and with the crew familiarizing with Stokley Chaffee Jr., the replacement for Thomas Robinson.
But the young forward is exercising patience, optimistic that the Road Warriors (2-3) will be able to get going smoothly sooner.
“Today was all new. I just got back, we just got a new import, we’re adjusting to playing without Kevin. It’s going to take some time, maybe a couple of games,” said last year’s first overall selection by Blackwater.
“For me, I just want to go out there and just be myself, high energy, defense, block shot, rebound, whatever the team needs,” he added.
And now that he’s recovered, Ganuelas-Rosser reaffirmed his commitment to the national team, which he helped regain the SEAG gold medal.
There’s a catch — but all in jest, of course.
“I won’t play on that court again,” BGR quipped, referring to that controversial linoleum basketball court in Cambodia. “But whenever my name is called, I’ll always be there.”