HAS the injury to Far Eastern University back-up center Russel Escoto opened the way for the return of 'bad boy' Arvie Bringas to the Tamaraws' lineup?
The answer, apparently, is still a no.
An FEU official told Spin.ph on Sunday that Bringas’ return is still a “longshot” despite a need to plug a gaping hole in the Tamaraws' frontline following the loss of Escoto, who suffered an ACL injury in a recent PBA D-League game and is likely out for the coming UAAP campaign.
Bringas has been scratched by the team following the Tamaraws' failure to reach the Final Four last season. There was no official stand on the matter but Bringas figured in a number of controversies in the course of the campaign, including spitting on then-Ateneo center Justin Chua that led to a ban.
Bringas had said that he wants to prove himself in the offseason to show that he is deserving of a return to the FEU roster, and had in fact been playing his best basketball in the PBA D-League.
Bringas' fine play, however, has not changed FEU's mind.
FEU’s frontline has suddenly become thin after Escoto tore the ACL on his left knee in a PBA D-League Foundation Cup quarterfinal game while playing for Fruitas last week. The injury is expected to sideline him for at least six months, ruling him out for the coming UAAP season.
FEU coach Nash Racela said that they will ask for a second opinion on Escoto's injury but he is not optimistic that the result will be downgraded.
“Mabigat (Escoto injury) because we already lost three guys from last year, now we are down to the last four big guys. Now we are forced to play small,” said Racela.
Escoto averaged just 4.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 2012 but was expected to play a major role in the Tamaraws’ campaign this season.