PUTTING the disappointment behind him, Ateneo big man JP Erram has vowed to bounce back strong next year after an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee abruptly ended his UAAP season.
The 6-7 Erram hurt his knee when he landed awkwardly while battling for the rebound during the Blue Eagles’ 79-72 win over Adamson last week. The third-year player underwent surgery on Friday and doctors said it will take around six months for him to return to the court.
Wearing a protective gear on his left leg, Erram watched at the back of the Ateneo bench during the Eagles’ 70-59 win over National University at the Philsports Arena Thursday.
“Siyempre noong una, hindi ko matanggap na na-injured ako, pero iniisip ko na lang na mag-pursigi pa at bumawi next year,” said the big man.
Until the injury, Erram looked well on the way to inheriting the starting center spot for the Eagles next season as Greg Slaughter is playing his final year with the team.
Ateneo coach Norman Black said Erram has improved immensely this season, even though his numbers won't show it as he only averaged 3.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 10 games this season.
“He has been helping us and has improved by leaps and bounds,” Black said. “I read that he should be getting much playing time this season with the way he is performing. JP has been really playing very well defensively and offensively.”
The defending champion Blue Eagles honored their fallen teammate during the game against the Bulldogs by putting his number 10 and the words ‘Poy’ (Erram’s nickname) in their shoes.
Erram said he will repay the Blue Eagles’ support by providing moral support as they continue their quest for a fifth straight crown.
“Siguro mas magiging vocal ako sa pag-support sa team kahit wala ako sa court,” said the back-up slotman.