BIG man Enrico Villanueva is expected to miss around six to eight months after doctors confirmed that he had torn an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on his right knee late in Barako Bulls' 85-86 loss to Air21 on Friday night.
Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi said the 6-5 slotman will undergo knee surgery on Wednesday under Dr. George Canlas at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City.
“Haay, sunud-sunod nga eh,” said Baculi, referring to the spate of heartbreaking losses this season, and now, the loss of Villanueva whose game had been on the rise since rejoining Barako Bull this season.
Villanueva injured the knee after trying to go hard to the basket against Express big man Rob Reyes on a fastbreak. The former Ateneo Blue Eagle star fell to the floor clutching his knee, and later told Baculi that he felt something "snap" on the knee during the play.
“Life goes on for the team without Enrico. Malamang next season na siya makabalik. It’s tough, especially since mga two points, three points or four points lang ang mga naging talo namin with him,” added Baculi.
Baculi said the team will sorely miss Villanueva’s 14.2-point, 9.2-rebound average this season, while saying he expects Douglas Kramer and even rookie Dave Marcelo to take over the veteran in the center spot.
Villanueva now joins Barangay Ginebra guard Dylan Ababou and Petron Blaze rookie center June Mar Fajardo on the sidelines this season.
Just two Sundays back, Ababou likewise crumpled to the floor after trying to go up for a basket against San Mig Coffee shooter James Yap. An MRI test revealed Ababou tore his ACL on his right knee.
Fajardo, on the other hand, underwent surgery to ease the swelling and stop the bleeding on his scrotum. The 6’9” Cebuano was coming off a huge 16-point, 13-rebound effort for the Boosters before accidentally being hit by Mixers big man Marc Pingris.