ADD Aldrech Ramos to the masked men of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The stretch forward of Star will be wearing a protective mask once he gets the go-signal to play after undergoing operation to repair a fractured nose he suffered during the Hotshots’ 103-97 loss against San Miguel two weeks ago.
The operation kept Ramos out of action in the team’s 96-90 win over Blackwater prior to the All-Star break, and depending on doctor’s clearance, could likewise skip the Hotshots Petron Saturday special game against Rain or Shine in Batangas this weekend.
The big man out of Far Eastern University disclosed to SPIN.ph that he has only gotten his specially-made mask on Tuesday, and rejoined the Hotshots in practice just last Wednesday.
“Healing na lang and unti-unti balik sa conditioning,” he said. “Hopefully, wala nang maging problema. Yung timing and hangin na lang.”
Ramos was inadvertently elbowed by Beermen import Charles Rhodes while going for a lay-up late in the first quarter of their game on Easter Sunday, leaving the lanky forward with a bloodied nose.
Not having practiced the last two weeks and still trying to fit in his protective mask, Ramos said he’s still awaiting the order of doctors of when is he going to play.
“Hindi pa sure kung palalaruin na ako sa next game against Rain or Shine or sa susunod pa,” he said, referring to Star’s match-up against TnT Katropa on May 10 before the league takes another week-long break to give way to the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship.
If not available, Ramos will be the third player coach Chito Victolero won’t have in his roster against the Elasto Painters.
The Hotshots (5-2) are already without rookie guard Jio Jalalon and gunner Allein Maliksi after the two were named part of the Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the Seaba tournament from May 12-18.
Also still doubtful is veteran big man Marc Pingris, who has yet to see action this conference owing to a hip injury.
“Si Ping this week pa malalaman kung puwede na siya, while Maliksi and Jio will already be focusing sa Gilas,” said Victolero.