ATENEO’S frontline woes continued to pile up after JP Erram’s comeback was cut short by another injury that will sideline him for probably a few more weeks.
Ateneo coach Bo Perasol said Erram needs to rest for another week after hurting his left knee in a game against National University in the Fr. Martin Cup on Sunday - incidentally the same knee where the big man suffered an ACL injury that sidelined him for six months.
Perasol admitted that it might take a while longer before the center would be fielded in a competitive game again - a gloomy development for an Ateneo team that is in dire need of a dependable big man after the departure of Greg Slaughter and Nico Salva.
“Ayoko na alamin ’yung injury ni Poy (Erram’s nickname) dahil matagal ko na siyang hinihintay,” Perasol said. “Basta I’m hoping that he is going to be kahit 80 percent once the UAAP starts.”
“As of right now, the mere fact that he is coming off an ACL injury, it will take a long time to get his bearings back,” Perasol added.
With the 6-foot-7 Erram sitting out, the Blue Eagles will have to rely on second stringers Frank Golla and Gboy Babilonia in the center position during its buildup in preseason tournaments.
“We need to go back to Gboy, who is coming off a shoulder injury, and Frank, who just came out from a long layoff,” said Perasol.
In the Blue Eagles' preseason games, players like Chris Newsome have asked to play out of their natural positions in order to make up for the team’s lack of height.
It has worked so far, with the Blue Eagles 2-0 in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena said they need to step up to compensate for the absence of a solid big man.
“We have to find something na papalit sa lack of height namin,” Ravena said. “Lagi kaming down sa rebounds. Kailangan talaga naming makipagbakbakan sa loob.”