COACH Gee Abanilla is keeping his fingers crossed that Petron will be healthy and injury-free in his first conference at the helm of the team in the PBA Governors Cup.
Injuries to various key players kept Petron from playing to its full potential in the first two conferences, with players like veteran Danny Ildefonso, rookie June Mar Fajardo, wingmen Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz, and guard Alex Cabagnot being hit by the injury bug.
Now new coach Abanilla hopes to build a solid rotation that would not break down in mid-conference.
“We’re trying to address that fact (injury issues) that’s why we have been working with our strength and conditioning coaches so that our players can have a good foundation,” Abanilla, barely one month into his new role as the Boosters’ head coach, told Spin.ph.
Lassiter started the Philippine Cup with an MCL sprain on his right knee before hurting his back after a bad fall during the playoffs while the 6-foot-10 Fajardo was sidelined for about six weeks after going under the knife late last year for a groin injury.
Ildefonso dislocated his left shoulder a fifth time during the season-opening conference, forcing him to miss the rest of the Philippine Cup as well as the Commissioner’s Cup.
Meantime, Lutz (fractured rib) and Cabagnot (right ankle sprain) also missed several games during the Commissioner’s Cup, which dragged down the Boosters' performance.
Abanilla is happy to see Ildefonso back in harness after missing a huge chunk of the PBA’s 2013 season.
“Danny is doing well in practice and has been doing rehab sa shoulder niya. Di pa lang gaya ng dati yung shoulder niya but in time, makukuha niya din,” explained Abanilla.’
With a healthy roster, Abanilla believes his team could come out stronger and more competitive as they await the arrival of import Elijah Millsap late this week.