JASON Perkins finally got a feel of the court again on Wednesday when he suited up for Phoenix for the first time in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Out of action for more than two months, the 30-year-old admitted he wasn't really yet in full fitness as shown by the way he huffed and puffed at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Fuel Masters’ 132-127 loss to the Converge FiberXers.
“I’m just tired,” he said after the game. “My conditioning is terrible. Even during warm-ups, I was getting tired.”
Despite not being in top physical shape, the former Rookie of the Year was good for 14 points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play behind a near-perfect 6-of-7 shooting from the floor.
Perkins said he’ll be a lot better in the team’s next game by Saturday against Magnolia.
“Usually it takes me a couple of days. I think by Saturday, my cardio would be a lot better,” said the Phoenix veteran.
Perkins went under the knife for his battered knee shortly after the Philippine Cup, and was initially projected to be out for the rest of the season.
But doctors told him he was good to play again that Phoenix activated him from the injury list in time for the game against Converge.
The knee is getting better, according to Perkins.
“It’s getting there, I’m trying. (It’s) a little bit slow, but what else can you except to try,” he said. “I miss playing basketball, I miss playing with my teammates, with my coaches, with everything. It’s nice. It’s just too bad we cannot get the win tonight, but it’s nice to be with the guys again.”
Ironically, it was his former college coach Aldin Ayo and La Salle teammates Jeron Teng, Abu Tratter, and Aljun Melecio who spoiled his comeback.
While happy seeing them all together under one team again, Perkins made known he was all business on the playing court.
“It’s nice seeing coach Aldin, Abu, Jeron, Aljun, we’re all teammates,” he noted. “But when we go to the court, I don’t like them.”