MANILA, Philippines -- A hamstring injury kept Steve Nash Enriquez from playing in National University's first game of UAAP Season 85, but coach Jeff Napa expects him to see action at some point in the first round.
Napa did not give a specific timeline for Enriquez's return, however, insisting that he does not want to put pressure on the young guard.
Enriquez earned the starting point guard spot for the Bulldogs in the preseason, as he averaged 9.7 points, 4.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game in the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup. However, he also sustained a hamstring injury that kept him out of the tournament Finals.
"He will be ready," Napa said of Enriquez. "Lalaro na siya definitely, pero sinesave muna namin siya."
"Ayaw namin siyang madaliin. Para maging ready siya. Di namin masabi kung next game o third game. Ayokong lagyan ng timetable yung bata," he added. "Baka ma-pressure yung bata."
Enriquez watched from the NU bench as the Bulldogs held on for a 77-70 win against University of the East on Sunday afternoon, and Napa said the layoff will be an instructive stretch for the young guard.
"Hayaan lang namin mag-cheer cheer, panoorin yung ano pwedeng i-correct. Para once he steps to the court, alam na niya," the coach said.
"Siyempre yung bata gusto ring magpakita. Soon. Di matatapos yung first round, makakalaro na siya. Abangan na lang," he added.
Enriquez is expected to form a backcourt partnership with new recruit Kean Baclaan, who had nine points in his debut for the Bulldogs on Sunday.