Kevin Racal’s absence will be huge for Alaska in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup. The defensive specialist is done for the season after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in their debut last Sunday.
The Aces received the devastating news on the same night that they suffered a disappointing 81-93 defeat to Allein Maliksi and the Meralco Bolts — their second loss in as many games in the bubble.
“That’s a big hit on us,” lamented Coach Jeff Cariaso. “We found this out late last night. We know naman the type of player Kevin is. He’s been known to be a defensive player. He’s one of our best defenders.”
“I really feel bad for KRacs,” said Jeron Teng, on the other hand.
“Dahil nung pandemic, KRacs is one of the hardest working talaga sa’min. He was really preparing himslef for this bubble to achieve our goal.”
Despite the tough road ahead without the five-year pro out of Letran, Cariaso and Co. are simply applying the ‘next man up’ mentality. And fortunately, somehow, another player will step up soon.
Guard Maverick Ahanmisi has finally arrived inside the bubble mounted in the Clark Freeport Zone. The Filipino-American guard came in late, having just flown in from the United States recently.
“We’re happy that he’s here,” Cariaso said, as the Aces have their sights set on avoiding falling into a deeper hole in the tilt.
Like everyone inside the bubble, Ahanmisi took a swab test upon arrival and will have to undergo the mandatory two-day quarantine. That means he will miss Alaska’s game versus Magnolia on Saturday.
The 29-year-old should be eligible to play for the Aces in their match versus Blackwater on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
“He’ll be able to join practice after a couple of days. Saturday na siguro pero we have a game, so most likely Sunday na siya pwede [for his] first practice with us.”