Fit-again Troy Rosario could be forced to play extended minutes in his first game back from a left shoulder injury as an all-Filipino Tropang TNT side takes on a Calvin Warner-reinforced GlobalPort team on Friday night.
Rosario, TNT’s 2nd overall pick in last year’s PBA Draft, has been activated in lieu of veteran playmaker Denok Miranda this week.
The soft-spoken Rosario said he was surprised to be activated this early, considering the team doctors placed his recovery time at 8 weeks.
“Ngayon (Friday) makakalaro na ako. Naka-recover na naman ang shoulder ko sa injury pero napaaga nga,” Rosario told FOX Sports, hours before TNT’s 7 p.m. collision with GlobalPort at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Eight weeks ang sabi ng doctor na recovery period ko, pero 6 to 7 weeks pa lang okay na ako,” he added.
With about 1 week of practice, the former National University big man is confident he can contribute right away, especially since the Tropa won’t have a reinforcement to replace banned import Ivan Johnson.
Veteran Fil-American center Kelly Williams is also doubtful for Friday’s game due to back spasm.
“Siguro (maging) patient lang muna ako, pero kung ano ang kaya kong ibigay sa team at sa defense, ‘yun lang muna,” said the TNT freshman, who injured his left shoulder during the Philippine Cup quarterfinals against Rain or Shine last December.
“Saka tingin ko, ready na ako mentally. Hindi ko na naman iniisip yung injury ko.” added the TNT rookie forward.
Ranged against GlobalPort’s beefy front court that includes Billy Mamaril, Doug Kramer and comebacking import Calvin Warner, Rosario said TNT will just have to rely on solid teamwork to oppose a souped-up Batang Pier squad.
“Hindi rin madali yun saka hindi basta basta ang front court ng GlobalPort kasi may mga skills din ang mga big men nila,” shared the 24-year-old former Gilas backup big man.
TNT (1-1) currently shares 3rd to 8th spots in the standings with GlobalPort, Blackwater, Rain or Shine, NLEX and Mahindra. – By Richard Dy
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