Gilas cadet Russel Escoto suffers scary knee injury in Mahindra game against NLEX
Mahindra rookie Russel Escoto is taken out of the court in a stretcher. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas 5.0 suffered an early blow after Russel Escoto suffered a scary knee injury near the end of the first half of Mahindra’s PBA Philippine Cup matchup against NLEX on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The 6-foot-6 Gilas cadet and Floodbuster slotman clutched his left knee after a bad fall after a rebound battle against  fellow cadet Fonzo Gotladera with less than 25 seconds remaining in the first half that ended with Mahindra on top, 57-49.

The 24-year-old Escoto was stretchered out of the court. Initial finding was a sore LCL (lateral collateral ligament).

League commissioner Chito Narvasa went to the Mahindra dugout to check on the former Far Eastern University stalwart, who was set to be brought to a hospital to have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test.

The injury was in the same left knee that he hurt in a D-League game while playing for Fruitas in 2013. The torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) forced Escoto to miss FEU’s campaign in the UAAP a few month later.

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