IT’S not going to be a rousing welcome for returning big man Sonny Thoss if and when he finally suits up for Alaska as planned next week.
Thoss may find himself pitted right away against strongman Peter John Ramos as the Aces are set to take on KIA Motors on March 3, the scheduled target date for the comeback game of the injured 6-foot-7 center.
The veteran big man has yet to play in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup since partially tearing his right plantar fascia before the start of the conference.
But Alaska head trainer Gus Vargas said once Thoss gets clearance from the team’s medical consultants early this week, he could already join the team’s practice.
“He’ll have his check up with our medical consultant na lang. But he’ll likely be declared ready to join the team’s practice,” Vargas told Spin.ph on Monday.
Vargas, who also oversees the recovery of forward Calvin Abueva from a sprained left ankle, expects Thoss to ease back into game shape soon since the Alaska big man has been following the rehab and conditioning program given to him religiously.
“Sonny has an aqua training, which is a coordinated program between the (Ateneo) PE department and the Moro (Lorenzo Sports Center),” explained Vargas.
“Binigyan ko din siya ng rehab program and conditioning program sa Ateneo para habang nagre-recover siya, di naman naiiwan yung strength niya,” he added.
Once cleared to play, the 11-year veteran faces his first big test yet against the 7-foot-3 Ramos, the imposing KIA Motors import who currently leads the tournament in scoring with an average of 33.3 points and is no. 2 in rebounding with 19.5 boards average per game.
“Sonny is up to the challenge (of defending Ramos). And once he’s practiced for a week, he will be amply ready na against Ramos,” said Vargas.
With the Puerto Rican behemoth a dominant figure in the paint, the Carnival were able to pull off a pair of upsets at the expense of reigning Philippine Cup champion San Miguel (88-78) and defending champion Purefoods (95-84).
Thoss, voted the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP, averaged 9.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.7 rebounds for the Aces, who finished runner up in the All-Filipino conference recently.