LEAVING nothing to chance, Purefoods dispatched team physiotherapist Arcee Cua to Puerto Princesa to ensure three of its players will continuously receive treatment in the middle of the 2015 PBA All-Star festivities.
Two-time league MVP James Yap, Peter June Simon, and playmaker Mark Barroca left for Palawan to participate in the All-Star weekend despite facing health issues.
The 6-foot-2 Yap is undergoing maintenance therapy on his left knee, which he injured during the team’s 78-72 loss to Rain or Shine three weeks ago in a PBA Commissioner’s Cup road game.
Simon, on the other hand, has been limited to just four games in the midseason, import-spiced conference by back spasm while Barroca also has back and knee problems.
All three are key players in the Hotshots’ bid to retain their title.
“We sent Arcee down there (in Palawan) to make sure James’ knee and PJ’s back can be attended to because, you know, there are so many events out there,” coach Tim Cone told Spin.ph.
Cua arrived in Palawan on Wednesday afternoon.
“Getting better naman si PJ dun sa back niya. Nagme-maintenance lang kami kasi he’s doing good na,” said the youthful Purefoods physiotherapist.
“Si Mark naman may naramdaman sa middle ng back niya, saka tuhod niya pareho, tapos si James maintenance lang din dahil one week din siya walang ginawa nun after ma-injure ang tuhod niya,” he added.
Yap managed to return from a two-game absence to lead Purefoods’ resurgence in overtime in a 113-105 victory over San Miguel Beer on Sunday night.
The 33-year-old Hotshot gunner banged in eight of his 15 points in the extra period to lead the defending champions to their fifth win in eight starts and secure fourth spot in the standings.
Yap and Barroca have been voted by fans to start for the South All-Star team, while Fil-Am sophomore guard Justin Melton and forward Marc Pingris are starters for the North All-Star squad.
Simon and Joe Devance were selected by PBA coaches as reserves for the South team.
The North versus South All-Star game serves as the centerpiece event of the mid-season spectacle this Sunday.