NOTHING could stop Michael Vincent Juico from suiting up in Wang’s Couriers’ final game in the eliminations of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
Not even an accidental hit courtesy of teammate John Ambulodto.
Juico had to sit out near the end of the second quarter of the team’s sorry 83-82 loss to Marinerong Pilipino on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig following an accidental hit from Ambuludto three minutes before halftime.
He admitted feeling dizzy after the hit that he was carried out of the playing court on a stretcher and wearing a neckbrace.
“Natamaan ako ng kamay ng kakampi ko (si Ambulodto) kaya medyo nahilo ako," Juico recalled of the incident.
Dr. Ges Mundo, who attended to the cager, said Juico didn’t sustain any serious injury.
"Nagkaroon lang siya ng konting laceration sa left nostril. Room care lang naman yung ginawa namin and then quick neuro assessment lang," Mundo said.
"Actually I offered him to rest muna for the second half pero he refused to rest,” the doctor added. “Upon physical examination naman, he was fine, so okay lang naman for him to return sa game."
That’s what Juico did.
The player immediately saw action after the halftime break, where he scored 11 of his 17 points, including a surprise three off the board in the early minutes of the third period.
Unfortunately, his on-court courage wasn’t enough. Wangs Couriers failed to protect a 13-point lead in the final four minutes and lost the game by a solitary point behind a John Lopez undergoal stab.
Wangs finished the eliminations with an even 5-5 win-loss record. The team now awaits the results of the rest of the eliminations to determine whether it advances to the playoffs or not.
"Last game na namin ito. Maghihintay na lang kami ng mga games ng iba just in case makapasok kami.” Juico said.
“Kapag nakapasok kami sa quarterfinals mag-iimprove pa kami lalong-lalo na sa depensa talaga."