BLACKWATER’S season ended the same way as big man JP Erram's has.
The Elite limped home at the end of their PBA Governors Cup campaign after losing its final game of the eliminations at the hands of San Miguel Beer, 107-101, on Sunday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
The second-year franchise could only show a single victory in 11 outings during the season-ending conference that was hit by bad luck after the 27-year-old Erram, supposed to be a strong candidate for Most Improved Player award, went down with an ACL injury.
After a long wait, the third-year center finally underwent surgery last September 1 under renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas. Erram disclosed he’ll likely be out for eight to nine months.
“Pero yung seven to nine months ready to play na ako nun,” said the injured big man out of Ateneo, who, by his calculation, could make a comeback with Blackwater in the late stages of the Commissioner’s Cup next year.
“Or kung kaya na talaga, baka mas mapaaga pa.”
In as much as he knows the frustration of the team as the losses kept piling up, Erram also feels a deep sense of regret at not being able to help the Elite the way he did when he was healthy during the first two conferences of the year.
“Oo (frustrated din) kasi hindi ako makatulong,” said Erram, who still attends all Blackwater games wearing a walking boot on his right foot.
“Pero wala naman akong magagawa. I just have to accept kung ano ang nangyari, and then move on from there.”
Pondering about the coming season for Blackwater, Erram said the players and team as a whole, need to grow up and be mature enough before the victories will start to come in.
“Communication ang kailangan din, kasi puro nga kami mga bago, so yung iba ang iniisip magpakita agad,” admitted Erram, who suffered the ACL injury during the team’s game against TNT Katropa on August 13.
“Pero kung gusto mong manalo ang team, yung team muna ang iisipin mo, yung kapakanan muna ng team.”
Just as the Elite faces another challenging offseason, so does Erram with his second ACL injury since college.
But having been there before, he said recovering from injury is a mental thing more than physical.
“Iba kasi pag may injury ka. Kailangan mentally tough ka, kasi ang tendency matatakot ka na (the next time),” he stressed. “Lalo ACL, mas mahirap. Patience talaga.
“Pero basta susundin mo lang yung pinapagawa ng therapist mo, walang magiging problema.”