MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATED) In a huge blow to Arellano University’s hopes of making the Final 4 in NCAA Season 93, star guard Kent Salado was ruled out for at least a month due to a sprained right knee.
Salado suffered the injury with 8:22 left to play in the fourth quarter of their game against San Sebastian College on Tuesday, after Stags guard RK Ilagan accidentally landed on his knee. He had to be helped off the court, and watched from the bench as the Chiefs hacked out an 85-79 win to stay in the semis hunt.
While he did not tear a ligament, as was initially feared, Salado’s injury effectively ended his season. Arellano only has two more games left in their Season 93 schedule, both of which are “must-wins” if they hope to remain in the Final 4 race.
“Sobrang bad trip ko nga,” a frustrated Salado admitted on Thursday, ahead of the Chiefs’ game against University of Perpetual Help in the FilOil Flying V Centre. “Minsan nga ‘di ako nakakatulog.”
“Paiyak nga ako noong madaling araw pagka-pangyari nito. Kasi iniisip ko, sayang ‘yung dalawang games eh. Gusto ko maglaro,” he said.
However, Salado was advised by top surgeon Dr. Raul Canlas not to push himself to play, lest the injury worsens.
“Sabi ni Doc Canlas, kapag pipilitin ko ito, baka bibigay eh,” said Salado.
As it stands, Salado will not require surgery in his injured right knee. Instead he will simply have to put it in an immobilizer for a month and undergo therapy.
Still, the speedy guard could not help but rue the timing of his injury. Their win over San Sebastian hiked Arellano’s record to 7-9, and if they win their last two assignments, they still have a chance of making it to the semifinals.
Salado, who averages 19 points and five assists per game, has done most of the heavy lifting for the Chiefs in Season 93. Before being helped off the court against the Golden Stags, he already had 22 points and six assists.
“Wala, hindi naman sadya ‘yung nangyari sa akin eh,” said Salado. “Nadaganan lang talaga ako ni Ilagan eh.”
“Ipahinga ko na lang. Next year na lang, ready na lang,” he added. “Bawi na lang next year. Kasi wala ng magagawa eh, nangyari na ito.”
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