AFTER undergoing aggressive rehabilitation on his right shoulder for close to a month, Globalport playmaker Solomon Mercado said he is making big progress and closer to being fit enough to lead the Batang Pier's campaign in the season-ending PBA Governors Cup.
Mercado said he has been well enough to participate in the team’s daily practices since arriving over a month ago from the United States after deciding to forego surgery and opted for an aggressive rehab on a shoulder injury he sustained during the Commissioner's Cup.
Mercado decided against surgery after getting second and third opinions where the point guard learned he will have to recuperate from four to six months.
“(My right shoulder has) gone a lot better for sure. And I’ve been joining the team’s tuneup games so far. I’m excited playing along with these guys who are working hard every single day in practice,” the 6-foot-1 Mercado told Spin.ph over the weekend.
The Biola University standout also said newcomers Jay Washington, Yousif Taha and fit-again Fil-Am rookie Kelly Nabong have made Globalport a taller, bigger team.
Washington landed at the Globalport camp after being traded by Petron Blaze last June in exchange for rookie Jason Deutchman and a future draft pick.
Taha, a 6’7” rookie, ended at Globalport after being shipped out by Barangay Ginebra in exchange for the high-leaping Japeth Aguilar.
Meantime, the entry of youthful import Markeith Cummings is also a plus for the Batang Pier, who are out to erase the bitter memory of disappointing finishes in the first two conferences of their maiden PBA season.
“We’re coming together quite well now. We’re certainly a lot better team than the last conference,” added Mercado, who is averaging 16.7 points, 7.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds this season.
Cummings, who stands just within the 6-5 height limit for the season-ending conference, is described by Globalport coach Junel Baculi an “energy player on the floor.”
The 24-year-old American forward is fresh from a three-year collegiate stint with the Kennesaw State Owls, a US NCAA Division I school. He later went undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft.