KIA Motors’ Governors Cup preparation is right on schedule even without giant reinforcement Peter John Ramos, who is playing for Brujos de Guayama in the Puerto Rican league.
The 7-foot-2 Ramos left late March after the Carnival failed to make it to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
The 29-year-old Ramos has played for Guayamas in its last 12 games, averaging a team-best 24.0 points to go with 11.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 blocks.
Team manager Eric Pineda said he’s aware of the risk to injury Ramos is taking by playing in a league back home, but insisted that getting more competitive matches under his belt would also be beneficial to the Carnival.
Pineda was also quick to shrug off the concerns, saying a player risks getting injured even in practice.
“Parang ganun din naman kung nagpa-practice siya (Ramos), may risk,” Pineda told Spin.ph on Saturday.
Pineda explained that Ramos won’t finish the tournament with Guayamas since he will be flying straight to Las Vegas to support KIA playing coach Manny Pacquiao in his super fight against American world champion Floyd Mayweather.
“Oo (Ramos will proceed to Las Vegas from Puerto Rico) so after fight pa siya darating (ng Manila),” he added.
Lead assistant coach Chito Victolero handles the team everyday at Clover Leaf in Guadalupe, Makati.
Pineda is confident that the team won’t need any major adjustment when Ramos returns.
“Hindi naman siya mahirapan mag-adjust saka alam na niya laro dito pati mga plays. Ang bibigyan na lang namin ng extra effort eh si (Jet) Chang saka Jason Deutchman,” said Pineda.
Chang, whose Taiwanese name is Chang Tsung-hsien, has been tapped as KIA’s Asian import for the Governors Cup.
Chang’ played for the national team during the 2009 and 2011 Fiba-Asia Men’s Championships` where he averaged 11.8 points and 1.6 rebounds.