ALJUN Melecio could only watch helplessly as La Salle bowed to bitter rival Ateneo, 76-75, in UAAP Season 80 on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Season 79 Rookie of the Year missed his third straight game after being hospitalized due to dengue fever, reduced into a spectator on the La Salle bench - albeit still in civilian clothes.
The second-year gunner admitted he was itching to suit up as the Blue Eagles opened a big lead early behind guards Matt Nieto and Anton Assistio, and the desire to play burned some more after the loss.
"After ng pagkatalo, gusto ko na makalaro agad. Gusto ko nang magbihis para makatulong man lang kasi sobrang helpless ako kanina. Gusto ko na bumalik as soon as possible," said Melecio.
Melecio, who's averaging 14 points, 3.3 assists, three rebounds, and 1.8 steals through four games, shared that he's already been given the clearance to play though the team decided to give his body more time to recover.
But Melecio is expected to be back on Wednesday when La Salle takes on Far Eastern University in a battle between two top teams raring to get back on the winning track.
"Okay naman. Cleared na ako to play, pero yung conditioning ko, kailangan pang ihabol kasi mahirap biglain yung katawan," he said.
"Hinahabol namin Wednesday. If ever, sabi ni coach, limited muna minutes. Sana makalaro na."