THE busiest people in San Mig practice on Saturday at the Ronac Gym in San Juan were not the players or the coaches but the physical therapists and members of the medical team.
While coach Tim Cone held a light practice, therapists and team doctors were on their toes as they nursed the injured and the weary in a team that has played 11 games in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup playoffs so far - two of them in sudden death.
Arcee Cua, one of the team's two physical therapists, said they have been doing round-the-clock post-game treatment on nagging injuries to resident star James Yap and Joe Devance while helping the rest of the players recover in time for Game Two of the Finals against Rain or Shine on Sunday.
The 6-2 Yap, who turned 32 on Saturday, has been dealing with a nagging elbow injury since the start of the season, while Devance has yet to full recover from a sprained ankle suffered in the first half of Game Six of the team's semifinal series against Ginebra.
"Pain management lang kay Joe and James," Cua, who works hand in hand with fellow therapist Nick Ocampo and team physician Raffy Sanchez, told Spin.ph on Saturday.
"Ito (playoffs) ang pinaka-busy na panahon para sa amin (medical team) kasi lahat kailangan ng attention. Eh si Joe (Devance) nga, one-day to prepare lang dahil nga na-injure siya nung first half ng Game Six, tapos nag-Game Seven din agad. Kaya tulong-tulong na lang kami," he added.
Time, of course, is not on the physical therapists' side in the playoffs since games are all bunched up in a season compressed to make room for Gilas Pilipinas' stint in the World Cup and Asian Games.
With so little time for healing and recovery, the medical staff in doing everything to help the players recharge for the next game with the help of hot-and-cold body treatment either at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel or Platinum Fitness in San Juan.
The youthful San Mig therapist said players who normally play 30 minutes or more in games this season always go for a hot-and-cold treatment to ensure their body get relaxed in time for the next game.
Of course, they also advise the players how to eat and hydrate right.
"Hydration importante din saka 'yung ngayon, lalo na galing sa semis, mag hot-and-cold sila. Magbabadad sila ng katawan," he added. "Importante rin 'yung pag-advise namin sa kinakain nila (Mixers)."