NEW acquisition Sol Mercado sprained his ankle during Globalport’s tune-up game against Rain or Shine Wednesday at the Moro Lorenzo gym.
But nothing to worry about, the streak-shooting guard is still ready to play through the pain when the Batang Pier open their PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign on Friday against the Petron Boosters.
Mercado suffered the injury after he stepped on the foot of Rain or Shine import Bruno Sundov as he gallantly tried to block the shot of the 7-foot-3 Croatian during the match which the Elasto Painters won, 87-80.
For a while, the Globalport bench collectively held its breath as the 6-foot-2 Mercado held on to his right ankle while writhing in pain.
But the warrior that he is, Mercado just shrugged off the sprain and said he hopes the injury will be better two days from now when the mid-season conference kicks off at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“I stepped on the import’s foot as I tried to block his shot. But it’s just a mild sprain. Hopefully, it will get better as we play Friday,” Mercado later told Spin.ph
Although Globalport lost, the Batang Pier held a 64-60 lead going to the final quarter.
The 28-year-old Mercado said he’s confident that in the short period of time he’s with the team, he would be able to solve the chemistry issue with resident stars Gary David and Willie Miller.
“I already had eight assists in the first half. I had fun distributing the ball to everybody so I think I’ll be picking my points because we have so many scorers in our team like Gary, Willie, and even our import (Justin Williams),” added the fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Globalport has gone through a huge talent buildup just last week when it acquired Mercado, Kelly Nabong, JP Belencion, and Yousif Aljamal from Meralco, and 6-foot-9 big man Japeth Aguilar from Talk ‘N Text.
In return, the Batang Pier sent Rey Guevara, Josh Vanlandingham, rookie forward Vic Manuel, and a future first-round pick to the Bolts, and big man Rabeh Al-Hussaini to the Tropang Texters.