INJURIES are part of any contact sport, basketball included. And players in the long history of the PBA have had their share of aches and pains, all in their quest for basketball glory.
However, there are cases of gruesome incidents that happened to PBA players that have stuck to the minds of Filipino basketball fans.
Here's a list of some of the scariest injuries in PBA history.
He is known as one of the key players of the Crispa Redmanizers during their Grand Slam years in 1975 and 1983. But during his time with Presto in a game against Anejo Rhum in 1988, Fabiosa was pushed by Robert Jaworski to the sidelines where he struck a raling and suffered a dislocated shoulder which was caught on television - an injury that only got worse when well-meaning teammates tried to pop Fabiosa’s shoulder back into place.
‘The Skywalker’ was known for his high-flying moves throughout a legendary PBA career that was nonetheless marred by injuries. In a game against Purefoods, Lim was going for a lay-up when he was hit by Jojo Lastimosa in the face while airborne, causing him to land awkwardly on the floor head first. Lim was left bloodied and suffered a concussion but surprisingly managed to recover after having several stitches near his eyebrow. The incident begins at the 0:50 mark of the video below.
Known as an enforcer in his career, Saldana sustained a gruesome knee injury in 1987 while playing for Ginebra that many thought was the end of his PBA career based on how his injury looked in front of a national television audience. But Saldana was able to recover, played through the 1990s and retired in 2000 at the age of 42.
Caidic will always be known for his three-point shooting, as he still holds the record for most points scored by a local with 79. But he is also remembered for an incident on April 29, 1997 in San Miguel's game against Ginebra (then known as Gordon's Gin). Caidic landed badly, his head hitting the floor, after colliding with teammate Nelson Asaytono while going for an offensive rebound. (Catch it at the 0:47 mark of the clip below.) While lying on the floor, Caidic was visibly in pain and even vomited. A controversy soon erupted when Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski was caught on camera making a slit-throat gesture. It took two weeks before Caidic got back on the court.
Drafted in 2003, Tejada was becoming a reliable role player following his transfer to Purefoods. But Tejada will also be part of one of the darkest days in PBA history when he suffered a freak injury that ended his career on May 14, 2006. In an unfortunate incident, Red Bull's Mick Pennisi fell down and landed on the Purefoods forward’s back in a game at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. (Watch the incident within the first minute of the video below.) Tejada suffered a fractured vertebrae that left him paralyzed from the hip down, and never returned to the court. But after going to the United States, Tejada was able to recover and able to walk again after a lengthy rehab process.