HIS case may not be as celebrated as his other Magnolia teammates, but back-up guard Alvin Abundo was actually the first victim of a spate of injuries to hit the Hotshots in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Not many may have noticed, but Abundo was the early casualty of the team’s roster in this all-Filipino conference, even ahead of the more celebrated cases of Marc Pingris, Justin Melton, and Paul Lee.
And his situation is just as disheartening as the rest.
After being re-signed to a new contract by Magnolia, Abundo was looking forward to the season with renewed enthusiasm after gaining confidence from cracking the Hotshots’ talent-laden backcourt of Lee, Melton, Mark Barroca, and Jio Jalalon last season.
However, the league’s 43rd season was just a few days away when disaster struck.
It was in his own words, a ‘freak accident.’
“Nadisgrasya ako, nadulas ako,” he recalled of the injury he suffered just before one of Magnolia’s pre-season practices. “Talagang aksidente siya, kasi ako lang yung nagpa-practice mag-isa ng skills. Ayun nadulas ako.”
The findings after an MRI: He suffered a partial MCL tear.
“Grade 2 siya so hindi naman siya sobrang lala lang din. Kaya praise God pa rin,” said the former Centro Escolar University standout.
Early in the conference, Abundo was seen walking around during Magnolia games in an immobilizer to protect his left knee. He wore the contraption for almost a month before undergoing therapy for another four weeks.
Good thing, only rest is needed for the injury to heal.
“Walang surgery,” he said. “Rest lang talaga. Kailangan lang mag-heal and at the same time, palakasin.”
The 25-year-old Abundo is now almost done with therapy and his condition is on a day-to-day basis, depending on how the knee reacts.
“Kasi itong yung first major injury ko talaga,” he said.
There was an initial tinge of frustration especially at a time when Abundo believes he can be of help to the team. Only on second thoughts, he just opted to look at the bright side.
“Normal sa tao 'yun (frustration). Kasi ako limited (playing) time lang talaga ako, so 'yung mga opportunity na maliliit o sabihin na nating ‘garbage time,’ malaking tulong na sa akin yun,” said Abundo, selected 51st overall by Blackwater (seventh round) in the 2015 draft who was signed as a free agent by the Hotshots prior to the start of the season.
“Nung una medyo nagtanong din ako, kung bakit nagkaganito. But I still believe na may mga purpose rin ito,” Abundo added. “Nangnahihinayang, pero I prefer to see the positive side na lang kaysa i-down ko yung sarili ko.”
Abundo said he’ll definitely be able to make a comeback this season.
Or who knows, at the rate things are going for Magnolia, Abundo’s return may just happen a lot sooner than he expects.