ON the same day Dylan Ababou learned that he will have to sit out the next six months, his mind was preoccupied by thoughts on how Barangay Ginebra can cope without him.
“Si (Keith) Jensen, (Chris) Ellis, at (Allein) Maliksi, kailangan mag step up,” the Kings’ rising star said in a phone conversation on Monday, the same day doctors told him that he had torn the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee that would sideline him for half a year.
The 25-year-old Ababou, who was just in his second game back from a hamstring injury on his left knee, tore his ACL while trying to fake off San Mig Coffee’s James Yap in the first quarter of their PBA Philippine Cup game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
“Ganun talaga, may plan si Lord,” Ababou said of the worst injury of his career.
The injury was too horrific to watch on replays, Ababou's knee almost giving way under his weight. The player said he knew right away that it was serious the moment it happened.
"Nung pag-twist may narinig akong nag-pop kaya naramdaman ko na kaagad na seryoso ang injury," Ababou, who has had no history of injuries on the knee, told Spin.ph.
But the former University of Santo Tomas Tiger believes the injury, as well as the other adversities the Kings have been facing so early in the season, will only make them stronger in the future.
“Sumakto yung never-say-die attitude, para masabi ng tao na 'never say die' ang Ginebra,” said Ababou, who joins Jayjay Helterbrand (hamstring) and Kerby Raymundo (flu) on the Kings' growing injured list.
For Ababou, only time can tell when the Kings will recover from their recent slump. “Bago pa si LA (Tenorio) so medyo naninibago lahat, at kulang sa big man,” he said.
He may be out action for a half year, but Ababou said he’ll just support his team in any way he can.
“Pupuntahan ko pa rin sila sa practice (para) pakita ko lang presence ko,” he said.