Russel Escoto targets October return to practice as he continues rehab from ACL injury
Gilas cadet Russel Escoto drops by the national team's practice on Thursday. Jaime Campos

RUSSEL Escoto had to fight the urge to hop on the court, grab the ball, and train with fellow Gilas cadets when he dropped by the national team's practice at the Meralco Gym on Thursday night.

Escoto, who is still recovering from an ACL injury in his left knee suffered in January, showed his support to the Philippine team bound for the Jones Cup in Chinese-Taipei a week from now.

"Kating kati na ako (maglaro)," he told a couple of reporters after the practice supervised by Gilas deputy coach Jong Uichico. 

"Minsan ayaw ko na manood kasi nakakainggit e, sa bahay na lang. Pero syempre gusto ko rin sumuporta sa Gilas kaya pumunta pa rin ako."

Asked for a timetable for his return, the 6-foot-6 Mahindra slotman said he is basically out for the rest of the season but hopes to rejoin the team's practice by October.

"Hindi pa ako pwede sumali sa practice. Siguro mga seventh month pa or eighth. Hopefully October makabalik na ako," he said.

"Getting better na. Nag-strength and conditioning na ako at in-introduce na ako sa pagtalon," he said. "Normal naman. Parang walang injury. Guarantee naman ng doctor na mas matibay sa original na ACL."

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