RAFFY Verano was quick to shrug off the injury he suffered as Ateneo cruised to a third straight win in UAAP Season 81, drubbing University of the East, 89-62, on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
Verano sprained his right ankle early in the fourth quarter of the blowout win and never returned, cutting short an impressive 13-minute stint where he scored 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting while leading Ateneo’s second unit in breaking the game wide open.
“I mean of course it’s disappointing getting injured but i think it happens to every basketball player,” said Verano. “I had a lot of confidence whoever was coming in for me or anyone going to finish the job and we did exactly that.”
Though he looked a lot more aggressive, Verano insisted there wasn’t any conscious effort to look for his shots.
“I think my teammates were just feeding me a lot . I just took the right shots, I felt like it, you know, within their defense. I think that’s where it came to me, I took it. I just came with that mindset, ready to play,” he said.
For Verano, coach Tab Baldwin’s system allows anyone in the team to have this kind of game. Against the Red Warriors, it just happened to be him.
“I think our team mentality is I think everybody can play. Everyone is expected to play and be ready and I think everyone has the ability to start and come out play. Anyone can have a good day,” he said.
Verano assured everyone his injury wasn’t as serious as it looked and he expressed hope that he can be available by the next game.
“It just hurts to put a little pressure, other than that I’m okay. I’m just gonna see our school doctors. It’s not as bad,” Verano. “If my body can’t, then I might have to rest. I have to, I don’t want to miss any games."