ANTIPOLO — Ed Daquioag saw himself going back to the very same venue where he suffered a gruesome injury that kept him out for a while.
The seasoned combo guard set foot at the Ynares Center here for the first time since sustaining a fractured fibula seven months ago, as Terrafirma took on Meralco in a PBA Governors’ Cup encounter Saturday night.
He wasn’t shy to admit that there were apprehensions and whatnot within while making his way into the arena. And one can’t put him at fault for that.
Looking back, Daquioag was actually playing well during the Dyip’s Philippine Cup match versus NorthPort last June 11, 2022, until disaster struck.
Anxiety filled Ynares Antipolo as the former UST standout landed badly after contesting Robert Bolick’s attempt off a drive at the 5:26 mark of the third quarter. Multiple replays showed that his ankle bent outward.
He was, of course, in excruciating pain, and had to be brought out of the playing court on a stretcher before being sent to the hospital.
All that remains vivid in Daquioag’s mind, thus the fear on his part when he came back to the place where numerous injuries were suffered during the Philippine Cup alone — including his teammate Isaac Go.
But he simply lifted everything to the Almighty as he, too, wanted to overcome all doubts stemming from that one fateful night.
“Going back kanina, bago pumunta rito, nagdasal na lang ako,” Daquioag shared to Tiebreaker Times.
“Lahat nung mga nangyari, fear or ‘yung kaba, ni-lift up ko na lang lahat kay God, parang sabi ko, ‘This is it.’
“Kung gagamitin man sana ako tonight, then, I just have to overcome it kasi ‘yun ‘yung first step e. You do what you have to do para ma-overcome ‘yon. ‘Yun lang ‘yung mindset ko kanina,” the 31-year-old added.
Daquioag didn’t see action but he was extremely elated. His return to Ynares ended up triumphantly as Terrafirma stunned the erstwhile-unbeaten Bolts, 96-88, for its first win of the season-ending conference.
“Siyempre, sobrang saya,” the former Gilas draftee said. “And then dito pa sa Antipolo. Seven months ago, dito rin nangyari ‘yung injury ko.
“Hindi man ako naglaro this game, pero I’m happy na ‘yung winning nandun. We all wanted to win tonight. Thank you kay God,” he furthered.
It was Daquioag’s second game back and to still have the opportunity to play after the second major injury of his career — he suffered a microfracture in his other ankle years back — makes him immensely blessed.
And he’s playing with a lot more faith now, for he’s learned that the setbacks that have come his way will only make him much better.
“Sobrang blessed talaga. Iniisip ko na lang na may mga plan si God, or may mga gusto lang siguro Siyang ipaintindi sa akin,” he said.
“‘Yung mga pagsubok na ‘yan, you just have to talk to Him kung ano ‘yung mga ‘yon,” added Daquioag. “Kung ma-oovercome mo ‘yon, magiging stronger ka roon sa mga ‘yon, siguro ‘yun ‘yung plan din ni Lord.”
The second game of each gameday is also live-streamed on SMART Sports.