THE PBA Philippine Cup semifinal action on Wednesday got one rookie excited to help his team that missed the Final Four.
Barangay Ginebra rookie Jeremiah Gray was in attendance at the Big Dome for Wednesday’s doubleheader that saw Meralco beat San Miguel and TNT outclass Magnolia in Game Four of their respective series.
Jeremiah Gray injury update
“They’re very physical, very good,” the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 draft said of his eventual opponents. “I’m very excited to play everybody. I just can’t wait to be out there and be around this crowd and the energy. I loved it.
“I wanted to run inside the court and play right now,” he added with a smile.
Gray, who is turning 26 on August 16, initially didn’t think he would be way ahead of schedule in his recovery from a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) he sustained last November.
“Very surprised,” insisted Gray, who had been expected to be out until January 2023. “When it happened, I thought it was going to be at least a year before I could even be normal again.”
“But even after surgery, I was walking after four days, didn’t need a brace, didn’t need anything, so I’m very blessed, very grateful,” he added.
The 6-foot-4 wingman has already started individual workouts since he returned to the country this month as seen on a recent Instagram post by Phenom Championship Clinic.
“I’m recovering pretty well, not too much pain, still slight discomfort, but my physical therapist back in the States said I’m doing very well,” Gray said. “I just met the physical therapist from Ginebra. They told me I’m doing very well, so I just got to keep on working and hopefully I can come back and be back to where I was before.”
Gray, though, still can't give a timeline of his debut for Ginebra, which traded for him in exchange for No. 8 pick Javi Gomez de Liaño and Brian Enriquez.
“I’m going to leave all that up to the doctors and coach Cone. If it was up to me, I would practice right now,” he said.
“I can feel the fan love already since I’ve been here,” he added. “I know the culture of the team. I met with boss Al (Chua), with coach (Tim) Cone. They’re excited to have me to and I’m just very grateful they took a chance on me even though I have a hurt leg, so I got to go out there and prove myself again.”