IECO head coach Ariel Vanguardia braced for the worst on Tuesday, as reinforcement Richard Howell went down and out early in the Green Warriors’ match with Ryukyu Golden Kings in The Terrific 12, Tuesday night in Macau.
Howell and a Golden Kings player collided inside the paint with 6:26 to go in the first, and the latter inadvertently landed on the former’s left leg. Howell found it hard to get back on his feet, and had to be carried off a stretcher.
The former Talk N’ Text import did not return to the match. His absence in the middle was greatly felt, as the Green Warriors lost by a wide margin, 75-103.
“We lost our heart and soul which is really Rich Howell.
“We pray for him that the injury is not that serious,” expresed a visibly-worried Vanguardia moments after their humiliating defeat at the Studio City Event Center.
Asked if Howell will still be able to play versus Al Jefferson and the Xinjiang Flying Tigers this Thursday, Vanguardia is highly doubtful.
“I pray that he can play. But judging from… ‘Cause it’s not only… It’s also the knee and the ankle that’s hurting. He can’t put any weight on his left foot and left knee, so I think he will be doubtful for the next game,” he said.
For Vanguardia, what he really hopes for is for Howell to heal quickly so as to not stall his other obligations, such as being Israel’s naturalized player for the FIBA.
‘But we pray that it’s nothing serious,” reiterated the seasoned bench strategist. “This is just a short tournament, and he’s got a very good career.
“He’s gonna play also for Israel for FIBA so we wish him all the best.”
As of this posting, Howell is in the hospital doing MRI scans on his knee.