Woes pile up for Mapua with injuries to Andoy Estrella, Leo Gabo
Coach Atoy Co had only nine players, including the injured Leo Gabo (bottom,left) for mapua's game against San Beda. Dante Peralta

MAPUA suffered another setback as Andoy Estrella and Leo Gabo suffered injuries on Thursday.

Head coach Atoy Co said Estrella suffered what the team fears as an MCL injury, while Gabo sustained a sprained ankle during practice.

Gabo was fielded for a while but was pulled out and the Cardinals lost, 66-55, their sixth loss in seven games.

"Natulak 'yung isang kakampi niya, si (Almel) Orquina, nabagsakan niya si Andoy, ang nabagsakan 'yung tuhod. Ang suspetsa ko is MCL," Co said.

"After na-injure siya, he was really having a hard time walking. Sabi ko sa therapist namin, I think the whole day yesterday afternoon and gabi, in-ice," he added.

Estrella had a team-best 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, while Gabo had averages of 10.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists before the injury.

Against San Beda, the Cardinals played with only nine men including Gabo, who still suited up and scored two points but only played four minutes.

"Nag-suit up siya just in case. Ginamit ko nga pero nakita kong naglilimp pa rin siya. Sabi ko, huwag na lang," said Co, although he believes Gabo will be able to play in Mapua's next outing against Jose Rizal University on August 22.

Estrella, meanwhile, is expected to be out for an extended period.

"Nagpa-MRI na, wala pang resulta. Pero kapag nag-MRI, ibig sabihin 'matagal recovery'," said Co in jest. "Anyway, wala na nga akong player, injured pa."

Still, Co hopes the Cardinals will still be able to perform at a respectable level.

"Actually, from the start of the season, talagang ang gusto ko lang, good showing, not necessarily winning. Winning is a bonus. Ang sinasabi ko lang, play good basketball. Just like today against San Beda, they were leading by 20 points, ginamit nila 'yung mga second stringers nila, naka-recover kami. 'Yun ang sinasabi ko na we have to play good, disciplined basketball," said Co.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports