ALASKA guard Chris Banchero assured he will be ready to go in Do-or-die Sunday in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup despite sustaining an injured hand in Friday’s playoff against NLEX at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Banchero played for only 15 minutes and sat out the entire second half after his right shooting hand was hacke by NLEX big man JR Quinahan.
The Fil-Italian guard, however, said sitting out Sunday's game against the top-seeded and twice-to-beat Phoenix Pulse is not an option.
“I got chopped down by Quinahan but I think I’ll be okay. I’m ready to go for Sunday. It’s kinda painful right now and swollen,” said Banchero, who faced reporters with his hand wrapped in a bag of ice.
Asked why he didn't return to the game against NLEX, Banchero said he was no longer needed with the Aces' relievers playing well.
“We were playing well and there’s no need for me to go back in the game. Sonny (Thoss) was playing very well, everybody played good tonight,” said Banchero, who has had his share of injuries last year.
Banchero is bracing for war against an in-form Phoenix side led by former Alaska assistant coach Louie Alas and former Aces star Calvin Abueva.
“We are basically playing ourselves. They run the same system as we do. They have the same coaches. It will be a good battle. They are going to put the full-court press on us," said the Alaska guard.
"They’ve had time to rest, they are well-prepared. Hopefully, we continue to play good as we go into the playoffs. We know it’s going to be three knockout games so hopefully, we take it one game at a time and take care of our business,” said Banchero.