RAIN or Shine’s physiotherapist JD Calinawan has his hands full attending to the banged-up men of coach Yeng Guiao, desperate to get all of them healthy for the winner-take-all Game Seven of PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Talk 'N Text.
Since the start of the mid-season championship series, Calinawan has been busy attending to the team’s first casualty, Jonathan Uyloan, who injured his left shoulder in Game One. The vastly improved guard missed Game Two before returning to play the next four games despite a bad shoulder.
The injury list has become longer since, no thanks to a highly physical finale where action often bordered on the rough.
Import Wayne Chism has been nursing a wrist injury and strained right elbow, as well, along with the bumps and bruises he got while battling Talk ‘N Text’s frontline led by Ivan Johnson in the paint.
Rain or Shine gunner Paul Lee is nursing a sprained right ankle. He also got his front tooth knocked off by Talk ‘N Text import Johnson and his shoulder is tender following a rebound battle against Kelly Williams.
But the biggest challenge at this point for the team’s veteran physical therapist is how to keep the pain down for veteran shooter Jeff Chan, who played in Game Six despite a torn right plantar fascia.
Calinawan said Chan since the plantar fascia is already torn, all he can do is give Chan anti-inflammatories to keep down the swelling and the pain, in the hope that the veteran gunner can give it a go in Game Seven.
“Ngayon, palibahasa napunit na plantar niya, regular na anti-inflammatories na lang. Last time kasi, yung in-inject sa kanya na anesthesia sa paa para di niya maramdaman yung sakit, eh wala na, dahil napunit na yung plantar fascia niya,” explained Calinawan on Monday after the team’s practice at the Nega gym.
Calinawan, who previously served as Air21’s PT from 2007 to 2008, said Chan is expected to play through the pain again in Game Seven, after being given the green light by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Edgar Eufemio.
“Malamang ilaro niya (Chan) na yun (Game Seven). Last game na naman saka may go signal ni Doc Eufemio. Wala na rin namang mapuputol dahil putol na nga (on Chan’s plantar fascia),” he added.
Calinawan has also wrapped Lee’s banged up arms and shoulder with kinesio tape to help facilitate the movement of his muscles.
“Two types kasi yung use ng kinesio tape. Puwede i-facilitate niya 'yung muscle movement. May tamang paraan ng pag-tape iyan, so kung hirap halimbawa igalaw yung shoulder dahil elastic 'yung tape, may tulong na maiangat mo 'yung braso mo,” explained the Rain or Shine PT.
“Si Paul meron sa shoulder dahil na-strain yun nung Game Two, tapos yung sprain pa niya sa ensayo saka sa Game Four,” he added.
Lee, who currently wears temporary dentures, vows to endure the pain and play with all his heart in Game Seven.
“Kahit nga may nararamdaman ako, maglalaro pa rin ako. Gustong gusto ko kasing makuha (yung championship),” said Lee, who got hit in the groin and right shoulder during the heated and physical second half of Game Six on Sunday.