Despite feeling helpless from the sidelines, Go For Gold-Air Force top hitter Ranran Abdilla did not mind taking the back seat as long as his team went home with a win.
Abdilla – who converted 17 hits on 46 tries in Game Two – sat out the Jet Spikers’ Finals-clinching victory against the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters last Tuesday to rest a recurring knee injury.
The Tawi-Tawi native has been playing hurt in the series after coming off a grueling stint with Rebisco-Philippines in the 2019 Sealect Tuna Championships in Thailand, taking its toll on his knee.
“‘Pag kasi nasa labas ako, siyempre nanghihinayang ako kasi wala akong magawa dahil sa tuhod ko,” said the 6-foot-1 spiker, following their straight-sets victory against the Power Hitters.
“Pero naging maganda pa rin yung resulta ng laro namin.”
Not wanting to make things worse and aggravate his star hitter’s injury, Air Force head tactician Rhovyl Verayo opted to field in Fauzi Ismail instead of the injured Abdilla.
“Binago namin yung line-up, which is si Ranran [Abdilla] nilabas ko muna, kasi the previous game masama na talaga yung pakiramdam niya, pinilit ko lang. So ‘yun nga natalo kami ng five sets,” said Verayo.
“Ngayon nagpalit kami ng line-up, which is si Fauzi [Ismail] ang pinasok ko, titignan ko muna kung gagana, pero kung ‘di siya gumana, baka magpalit na naman ako.”
Luckily for Verayo, his shake-up with the roster resulted to a win, as Ismail stepped-up to the plate and provided the spark for the Jet Spikers, firing 13 points, 12 of which coming from attacks, giving Bryan Bagunas much-needed support from the wings.
And no one couldn’t’ be happier for Ismail than Abdilla himself, saying:
“Yung kanina kasi, yung game na ‘yun alam ko naman na kaya ni Fauzi [Ismail] yun e.”
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