ROMEO Travis may easily be the most battered protagonist in this championship series between Magnolia and Alaska.
Already sporting stitches on his glabella from a cut incurred back in Game Four, the Akron, Ohio native again hurt his right hand off a fall from a Simon Enciso foul with 56.9 seconds remaining in Game Five.
Travis shook off the pain and held his ground long enough to see Paul Lee drill the game-winner with 1.3 seconds left, 79-78, and move the Hotshots a win away from the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup championship.
"It wasn't pretty, but you'd rather learn a lesson in a win than learn a lesson in loss," he said after collecting 10 points on a putrid 3-of-19 shooting from the field, to go with 17 rebounds and six assists in Game Five.
With the level of physicality in the series, Travis can only hope these hurts will all be worth it in the end.
"I hope so. It's very frustrating to play basketball like this," he said. "It's very frustrating to me. I don't play like that and for me to keep getting these pains, it's not coincidental injuries. These are very purposeful injuries.
"People are really intentionally doing certain things and I come from a place that if you play like this, then it's no longer basketball."
Travis, however, is not stepping back.
"If I take it to a play where it's no longer basketball, I hurt my team and that's not what I'm here for. I want to win. I know what they're trying to do. I'm just trying to stay positive and stay focused," he said.
"Today, I kept my emotions in check much better than I did in Game Four and that's what I'm trying to do. Just stay positive and stay focused, keep meditating, keep praying, working on my attitude, and just try to stay positive as I can."
Travis, 34, said he will not stop at nothing to win a championship, even if it comes at the expense of former team Alaska.
"I wish it wasn't Alaska. It would probably be easier for me mentally, but we have to play whoever steps in front of us. We just need to win no matter what, no matter the calls, no matter how I feel, no matter how I play, we just need to win," he said.
"It doesn't matter, I just want to win."