MAGNOLIA coach Chito Victolero is so confident of a quick recovery for Romeo Travis during the PBA break that he has no plan to field Ben Mbala as a replacement import in the Governors Cup finals.
Magnolia's best-of-seven championship series against Alaska won't start until December 5, but there are fears that even such a long layoff might not be enough for a Grade 2 hamstring injury to fully heal.
Victolero is keeping his fingers crossed.
“Hopefully, hindi ma-aggravate ’yung injury niya,” said Victolero. “’Yung matitira sa amin na araw na makakapahinga siya, malaking bagay ‘yan.”
Despite Travis’ condition, Victolero said Magnolia has no plan to field in Mbala or bring in an emergency import for now.
“Nandito siya (Mbala) pero ang usapan namin, we will stick with Romeo. Pagagalingin lang si Romeo. Emergency lang naman ‘yun kung hindi siya makalakad,” said Victolero, referring to his conversation with Mbala.
The PBA is on a break until Dec. 5 as Team Pilipinas competes in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Despite the injury, Travis torched Barangay Ginebra in Game Four of the semifinals, scoring 50 points as Magnolia closed out the best-of-five series, 3-1, on Friday at the Ynares Center.
“Very much a concern. But with the way he played, parang walang injury. ‘Yung heart lang talaga niya. Sabi nga ng buong Pilipinas, puso.”