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Basketball

Meralco scared to lose another key player in Cliff Hodge

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Photo by PBA Images

The Meralco Bolts just can’t swipe the injury bug from their side

Already without Ranidel De Ocampo (calf), and having recently lost Jared Dillinger (foot infection), the Orangemen might lose Cliff Hodge yet again as the six-foot-four forward hurt his knee during their clash with Phoenix, Wednesday.

Hodge, who has just recovered from a foot injury that made him miss the Bolts’ first four games this season, hurt his left knee with 20 seconds left in the third canto after a collision with Willie Wilson as he tried to attack the basket.

The Filipino-American forward found it difficult to stand up. He still did his best to take his free throws — which he both missed — but could barely walk after that. He was then escorted to Meralco’s bench and never returned.

“That didn’t look too good,” rued Bolts head coach Norman Black. “According to Willie Wilson, he banged knees with him so that’s completely different from what he’s been struggling this entire conference, which is an ankle injury.

“What’s new [with this injuries]? It’s been happening the entire conference.”

Despite that, Hodge still made a mark in the match, producing 17 markers along with three rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks to help Meralco take home a 92-90 victory and snap their three-game losing skid.

An official diagnosis has yet to be made by the team’s doctors. But the Bolts, who have improved to 3-6, definitely cannot afford to lose Hodge, especially now that the 2017-18 Philippine Cup is about to reach the quarterfinals.

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