It appears that there’s really nothing to be worried about even if Mac Belo sat out Blackwater Elite’s clash with the reigning Philippine Cup champions San Miguel Beermen, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
The six-foot-four scorer wasn’t fielded in the bout due to a strain in one of his thighs. Belo was present in the team’s pre-game shootaround, but the coaches had decided not to play to prevent the pain from worsening.
“May konting strain sa ITB (iliotibial band) niya,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac. “Napuwersa siya, nag-extra work siya Wednesday night, nag-bike siya and sabi niya pagkatapos niyang mag-bike parang nahirapan na siyang maglakad.”
“Kanina sa warm-up wala namang masakit but we don’t want to take risks,” admitted the veteran bench strategist.
“We want to preserve the player until we get an evaluation and that’s the time we will play Mac Belo.”
Belo’s absence, however, was hardly felt, as the Elite managed to end their four-game dry spell by upsetting SMB, 106-96, thanks to the excellent showings of Mike DiGregorio (26 points, five treys) and Poy Erram (24 points, 18 rebounds).
“Swerte ata ‘pag ‘di ako nakakalaro,” quipped the sophomore, who was averaging 18.0 points and 6.9 rebounds prior to Friday.
Luckily, nothing serious is about to take place for Belo, who is currently enjoying his sophomore year after missing the majority of his rookie campaign in the 2016-2017 season due to a torn meniscus in his right knee.
“Nagpa-check ako kahapon, sabi ng doktor na-strain lang daw. Kailangan lang ng rest,” said the Gilas Pilipinas pool member. “Ngayon lang siguro [ako out]. Depende. Papa-check ako next week sa doktor.
“Sana saglit lang.”
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