RAIN or Shine import Bruno Sundov had nothing but praises for Meralco counterpart Eric Dawson after he heroically carried the Bolts to a 118-116 overtime win despite playing with a hurting knee in the waning minutes of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup game on Wednesday night.
The 7-foot-2 Sundov, the one tasked to guard Dawson all game-long, felt bad when he saw the Meralco import sprawled on the floor while holding on to his knee after a hard body check from Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga while the import was going for a basket.
“Of course, it’s painful to see him just holding his (left) knee. No one wishes anyone to get hurt because that could happen to me anytime as a player,” Sundov told Spin.ph after the game.
All along, Sundov thought the 6-foot-9 Dawson was gone for the game as he laid on the floor for several minutes and had to be attended to by the Meralco medical staff.
Instead, the Croatian import was surprised to see the 28-year-old Dawson stand up, shake off the pain, and just continue playing.
“I was surprised he came back. He couldn’t even walk, and he even jumped over me in a rebound. But he played hard and stepped up for his team and they won,” noted the 33-year-old Sundov.
“He’s a great player, no question about it.”
Dawson went on and finished the game with 50 points, including a combined 15 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
With the Bolts’ playoff seeding on the line, Dawson said it was time to rise to the occasion.
“If it (injury) was serious, I wouldn’t have been able to walk. But I just stayed and fought to the end. This is my job and this is what I want to do. I don’t want to stop playing or quit,” said Dawson, who is coming off a 57-point explosion in a win against Petron more than a week ago.
Dawson became just the first player to score 50 or more points twice in a conference since Jerrod Ward of Mobiline pulled off the feat in the 2001 Commissioner’s Cup.