MANILA, Philippines - Languishing near the bottom, Barako Bull has found itself in a deeper bind, needing to gut it out to make the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs with another key player in Enrico Villanueva going down with an injury.
Villanueva is out practically for the rest of the season as he was found to have suffered a torn right ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in their game against Air21 Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The 6-foot-5 center/forward, averaging almost double-double numbers, will undergo surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital Wednesday. Recovery period for this kind of injury is from six to eight months.
“I’ve suffered the same injury (left ACL) and I’m confident I can recover. But I’m sad I will be out for a long while and I can’t help my team,” said Villanueva.
“We will have to find ways to win without him. Life goes on. Unfortunately, things like these happen,” said Barako coach Junel Baculi.
In and out due to an injury is another Barako key player Danny Seigle.
The Energy Cola have dropped to ninth place with a 3-6 win-loss card after losing a close battle against the Air21 Express, 85-86, Friday.
Villanueva went down with an ACL tear in the late stage of the contest.
In the PBA’s lone game yesterday, Joe Devance scored 14 of his 18 points in the final quarter and Mark Barroca added seven points in the last three minutes of play as San Mig Coffee repulsed Alaska Milk, 77-68, in the Lapu-Lapu City stop of the Phoenix Fuel on Tour.
The Mixers rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second quarter and led by 12 points thrice at the finish before wrapping up a sixth win against two losses.
With their win, San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone is now five-of-five versus his former team.
Meanwhile, tournament leader Talk n Text pushes its playoff bid in taking on Barangay Ginebra at the resumption of the season-opening all-Filipino tourney at the MOA Arena in Pasay today.
The Tropang Texters and the Kings slug it out at 6:30 p.m. succeeding the 4:15 p.m. match between the Meralco Bolts and the Petron Blaze Boosters.