As Gilas' lone remaining pure shooter, Jeff Chan careful not to re-injure tender groin
Jeff Chan is the lone remaining pure shooter in the Gilas lineup - unless Marcio Lassiter recovers fast enough to join the team in its European trip. Jerome Ascano

A FIT-AGAIN Jeff Chan left with Gilas Pilipinas Friday night for its grueling European camp as it builds up for the Manila leg of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The top Rain or Shine gunner disclosed he’s now recovered from the groin injury which he slightly hurt again when he rejoined the national team in its daily scrimmage last week.

Although back in the pink of health, Chan said he’ll be taking things slowly but surely once Gilas finally settles down in its 21-day training camp that will take the team to Greece, Turkey, and Italy.

“Ayaw pa naming i-force, ayaw naming pilitin kaya hindi ako naglaro,” said Chan prior to the team’s departure, explaining his absence from the two scrimmages Gilas had with the Iran national squad this week.

[See Here's what awaits Gilas in 21-day European trip: Definitely no picnic]

Chan said he felt pain in the groin when he finally took part in the team’s daily practice at the Meralco gym. He hurt the same area during Game Six of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals between Rain or Shine and Alaska, which forced him to sit out some of Gilas’ practices upon his return to the team.

“One time kasi sa practice medyo na-pull ko, so balik zero uli,” he said. “Kaya medyo ingat na ngayon. Ayaw ko kasi sayangin yung recovery ko.”

The 32-year-old pride of Bacolod City is left as the only pure shooter of Gilas team that is seeking to end the country’s 44-year absence from the Olympics. Ailing Marcio Lassiter remains a doubtful member of the team as he is still recovering from broncopneumonia.

But Chan said he’s back to square one again, and now knows how to deal with the injury especially with Gilas physical therapist Dexter Aseron accompanying the team in Europe.

“Ok naman na ako. Ok na ang movement ko, no pain (na siya),” he said. “Tsaka may mga ginagawa na naman kaming mga therapy ni Dexter.”

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