KG Canaleta eager to return to action for Mahindra: 'Gusto ko lang makatulong talaga'
KG Canaleta joins the huddle from behind the Mahindra bench. Jerome Ascano

KG Canaleta couldn’t wait to get back in action in the hope of giving Mahindra a needed lift in its wilting playoffs drive in the PBA Governors Cup.

Canaleta underwent an appendectomy two weeks ago that forced him to miss the Enforcer’s final three assignments in the eliminations.

Ironically, the team dropped all three matches, including Sunday’s 86-83 loss to Meralco at the Mall of Asia Arena that hurt Mahindra’s chance of finishing in the Top Four and enjoying twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.

Before being sidelined, the deadly-shooting big man was the Enforcer’s leading local scorer with an average of 12.6 points to go with 3.6 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.

He was in street clothes and watched from the bench as Mahindra lost back-to-back games against Barangay Ginebra and Meralco.

“Gusto ko ng makalaro uli, gusto ko ng makatulong uli,” he said after the game against the Bolts. “Wala namang assurance na pag bumalik ako mananalo kami ulit, Gusto ko lang makatulong talaga ano man 'yung mangyari.”

[See Meralco outlasts Mahindra behind Durham heroics]

Unlike the usual appendectomy where patients undergo surgery, Canaleta said he only underwent a non-invasive procedure.

“Laser lang naman ito, hindi yung talagang hihiwain ka ng malaki,” he stressed.

The power forward out of University of the East said his timetable for a comeback is the quarterfinal playoffs. If there will be a playoff for the last Top Four berth, the better for Canaleta’s expected return, he said.

“Ita-try ko muna yung sarili ko, I-check up pa kasi ako ulit kung okay na talaga,” the veteran big man said.

“Pero itong week na ito, mag start na akong mag-stationary training, bike, workout, swimming. Hopefully, by Wednesday subukan ko kung puwede ng sumama,” he said.

Canaleta stressed being in the playoffs is a good experience for a young franchise like the Enforcer, reason why they shouldn’t just put the opportunity to waste.

"Sayang yung pagkakataon na  nasa playoffs kami, ito na yung best chance para mag-gain kami ng experience,” he said.

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