IT turns out the condition of import Alex Stepheson is more than just a case of bum stomach.
Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan disclosed Stepheson has been complaining of abdominal pain since the start of the Elite's campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The ailment has become unbearable that the import had to take a quick trip back to the U.S. to see his personal doctor.
A statement reelased by Blackwater management before the game against San Miguel said Stepheson had a bum stomach due to food poisoning.
"Ako personally hats off to the guy. Sa ganung kundisyon niya, he still played the way he did sa first six games namin,” said Dimaunahan after the Elite were blown away by the Beermen Friday, 127-106, in the absence of their 6-foot-10 import.
“He’s still a monster down there. Kaya nga personally, I thanked him on how he handled himself and how he helped our team in those six games.”
Blackwater went 5-1 in the six games Stepheson played.
“Hopefully nga maging OK na siya and makabalik na siya for our upcoming games,” said the Elite mentor.
A Blackwater insider said Stepheson is set to return to the country by Thursday.
The Elite have no back-up plans yet in case Stepheson would not be healthy to play.
“As of now, wala pa kaming napagmi-mitingan, kasi all of a sudden yun, e,” said Dimaunahan. “We still have to talk among ourselves kung ano ang magiging next plan namin.”