JEO Ambohot made a surprise return just when Letran needed him the most, although his comeback was spoiled by the powerhouse Lyceum after the Knights bowed to the Pirates, 81-69, in NCAA Season 93 on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
The 6-foot-7 Ambohot suffered a fracture in his right hand on August 15, but overcame the odds as he took just six weeks to recover after first being feared to be out for the season.
With the Knights’ seaon hanging in the balance as they tote an 8-8 record with two games to go, Ambohot’s return couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Sinunod ko lang pinapagawa sa akin, vitamins, umiinom ako sa tamang oras, ewan ko lang bakit din ang dali ko rin nakabalik,” said Ambohot when asked about his quick recovery.
His first game against Lyceum wasn’t that bad either.
Though visibly still feeling things out, Ambohot managed to end up with eight points and three blocks in 18 minutes of action and was part of the line-up which trimmed the Pirates’ 16-point lead to just five late in the third quarter.
Letran coach Jeff Napa understands that it’s gonna take time for Ambohot to return to his old form but welcomes the addition of the sophomore big man as they face rivals San Beda in a virtual must win game next week.
“Wala pa si rhythm, wala pang timing. Evident kasi mabilis siya mapagod. Alalay lang talaga, di ko siya gaanong pinilit masyado,” said Napa.
“Knowing naman yung batang yun warrior yun e. Kahit injured yun, lalaro talaga yun e. Come next game siguro 100 percent na siya para maganda laban,” he added.
Ambohot admitted to being too eager in his return causing him to start flat in the game. But the confidence that Napa gave him allowed him to bounce back in the third quarter, where he finally began to look like his old self.
“Kanina sobrang excited ko nga kanina kasi kakabalik ko lanag. Siguro kaya pagpasok ko ang dami ko ring turnover agad, dahil sa sobrang excited,” Ambohot continued.
“Pero pagbalik ko ng third quarter, sinabihan ako ni coach na kalma ka lang, hanapin mo kumpyansa mo uli, kung open ka shoot mo lang,” he added.
He isn’t promising anything grand but he vows to be in the best shape that he can be in come Friday.
“Oo gagawin ko yung lahat, yung best ko na kung ano dapat na gawin. Sabi nga ni coach, dapat ibalik ko yung game ko, ibalik ko yung kumpyansa ko.”