Justin Melton hoping against hope of suiting up for Magnolia in Game 4: 'It's possible'
After a hamstring strain in Game 1, Justin Melton could start practicing with Magnolia on Thursday, a day before Game 4. Jerome Ascano

THE warrior’s mentality is prevailing upon Justin Melton.

Despite nursing a hamstring injury, the Fil-Am guard still stays optimistic that he’ll be able to come back for Magnolia Pambansang Manok and contribute in his own little way in its campaign to clinch a berth in the finals of the PBA Philippine Cup.

The high-flying Melton has been grounded since Game Two of the Hotshots’ semifinals series against the NLEX Road Warriors since hurting his hamstring in the first half of the opener of the best-of-seven series.

Good thing no tear was found on the hamstring, which he only strained, according to team governor Rene Pardo, opening the possibility of Melton hopefully suiting up for the team in Game Four of the semis this Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“It’s possible,” he said when asked by SPIN.ph if he’ll be reactivated by the Hotshots in the next game.

“Maybe,” added Melton, who has confined himself watching and cheering the Hotshots at the bench for the past two outings, including Wednesday’s 106-99 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to give Magnolia a 2-1 series lead.

Melton injured the same leg he hurt before, although he said it’s in a different area. He’s currently undergoing therapy and had undergone PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) shot on the hamstring just a few days ago for the injury to quickly heal.

“It’s good. It’s doing a lot better,” said the 30-year-old native of Angeles, Pampanga.

At the moment, he continues to attend the Hotshots’ practice despite his condition, limiting himself to just shooting baskets at the Ronac gym in San Juan.

The way things are going, he could start practicing with Magnolia on Thursday, according to Pardo.

Melton just played nine minutes and went scoreless when he sustained the hamstring injury in Game 1, which the Hotshots lost, 88-87.


It was during the same game when Marc Pingris suffered an ACL injury and Mark Barroca sustained an ankle sprain.

“Bad streak of luck during that game,” said Melton.

But who knows, after the bad one, good luck may just come Magnolia’s way.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos