Injured Blackwater import Chris Charles praises stand-in Douthit for 'unbelievable job'
Chris Charles has started to join Blackwater shooting drills and light jogging as he works himself back into full fitness after suffering a hamstring injury in a pre-tournament game. Jerome Ascano

INJURED Blackwater import Chris Charles is raring to make his PBA Commissioner’s Cup debut, especially after the Elite registered a breakthrough 80-77 win over San Miguel Beer on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The seven-foot Charles has started doing some shooting drills with the team and light jogging as he works himself back into shape after suffering a hamstring injury just days before the start of the mid-season tournament.

“It’s (hamstring) getting better day by day. Been slower than expected, but something like hamstring, it takes time to heal so it’s been strengthened,” said Charles, who watched the game 

“I’m really anxious to get back and play and, slowly I’m getting to practice but not full-fledged, no five-on-five yet, but hopefully, this coming week I can start running.”

The former Villanova standout praised stand-in import Marcus Douthit who he said provided the veteran leadership the rookie franchise needs at this point of its campaign.

“He’s (Douthit) been doing an unbelievable job especially in such short notice,” noted Charles, who turns 34 two weeks from now.

“Because of his experience and leadership, a lot of guys, they listen to him because they know what he has accomplished in his career,” added the two-time Asean Basketball League (ABL) MVP.

For the moment, Charles intends to work double time with Blackwater trainer and conditioning coach John Aquino to finally get back on the playing court.

“I wanna play as soon as possible, but I don’t wanna push myself too much because that’s how it (injury) made things worse,” he said. “But he’s (Aquino) been really helping me strengthen my legs. I feel great and lucky to get help from somebody his caliber.”

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