PERPETUAL Help coach Jimwell Gican is not pushing his ailing imports to play extended minutes, calling instead on the locals to step up.
Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze are still nursing injuries and sat out the fourth quarter in a loss to San Beda.
“Hindi pa kasi siya (Akhuetie) hundred percent, kaya ayaw namin i-gamble yung health niya. Kahit si Prince ganun din eh, injuries kasi eh. We don’t want taking risks kasi first round pa lang naman eh,” Gican said.
Akhuetie sat out Perpetual Help’s first game with a sprained knee but played in the next three games including the match against the Lions, registering 13 points and six rebounds.
“Kasi kung ma-aggravate pa, it’s early pa naman eh, mahaba pa ang tournament para mag-take kami ng risk na ganun. Okay lang kung 100 percent siya, (pero) hindi eh,” Gican added.
Gican also added that he wanted to use the opportunity to give other players a chance to show their grit in the endgame against a team like San Beda.
“Gusto namin mabigyan lahat ng opportunity, kasi eto ‘yung time nila hindi kagaya last year so binibigyan namin ng confidence yung ibang players,” Gican said.
Gican has called on the bench to step up as they battle another NCAA power in Letran on Friday.
“Sana mag-step up ‘yung iba kasi ‘yun ang kailangan namin ngayon, especially hindi players ang kalaban namin eh, ‘yung core namin kasi puro injuries nga eh, hindi naman excuse ‘yun pero ‘yung decision namin, kailangan ma-sustain namin hanggang second round,” said Gican.