PBA: Rosario on playing through injury - 'May isang kamay pa ako'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2021 04:34 PM

TNT forward Troy Rosario (18) played through a dislocated pinky finger in the final two games of the PBA Philippine Cup. PBA Media Bureau.
TNT forward Troy Rosario (18) played through a dislocated pinky finger in the final two games of the PBA Philippine Cup. PBA Media Bureau.

For TNT forward Troy Rosario, playing through injury during the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals was a no-brainer.

Rosario, 29, was considered questionable to finish the best-of-seven finals series against the Magnolia Hotshots after suffering a bad fall in Game 3 that caused a dislocation of his left pinky finger as well as "spinal shock." Yet not only did he keep playing, Rosario started in Game 4 which TNT coach Chot Reyes served as inspiration to his teammates.

"The reason why we played him was really, was for inspirational purposes," Reyes said after TNT's 106-89 triumph in Game 4. "He said he wanted to try, and I thought by him being there, the message of courage was going to rub off on his teammates."

The Tropang GIGA wrapped up the series in five games, winning their first PBA title in six years. For Rosario, it was his first championship since joining the franchise in 2015.

According to the forward, he was determined to play through the pain by his teammates, several of whom were dealing with injuries of their own.

"Nakita ko rin kasi 'yung paghihirap ng mga ibang teammates ko eh. Mga teammates ko, may mga nararamdaman na rin, si Kuya Kelly (Williams) 'yung back spasms niya; Ryan Reyes, hamstring. Jayson Castro, 'yung sprained ankle niya. Si Poy (Erram) nga, naglalaro ng basag 'yung cheekbone eh," Rosario pointed out in an appearance on "The Game," Wednesday night.

"So sabi ko, 'yung sa akin lang, daliri lang. 'Yung likod ko naman, medyo bawas 'yung sensation, so walang problema doon. Ba't 'di ko pilitin maglaro? May isang kamay pa naman ako eh," he added.

Still, Rosario felt the impact of his injuries in Games 4 and 5, admitting that he could barely catch the basketball. In Game 4, he played just 20 minutes, putting up five points on 2-of-6 shooting. He had nine points in Game 5, going 3-of-3 from the field in 15 minutes of playing time.

"Hirap akong sumalo noong mga games na 'yun, 4 and 5. Pero kailangang tiisin eh, kasi talagang gustong-gusto manalo," said Rosario. "Talagang gagawin ko lahat."

"Tsaka siguro, pagod na rin ako sa mga heartbreak, 'yung mga pinagdaanan kong heartbreak, parang sawa na rin ako siguro na matalo sa finals," he added.

Rosario has since gotten checked by Dr. Raul Canlas, who advised him to undergo surgery for his dislocated finger.

However, Rosario admits he is considering putting off the procedure.

"Dahil sa schedule siguro ngayon, pag-iisipan ko kung ipapa-opera ko. Kasi I think two weeks, magsisimula na naman ata 'yung next conference," he said. "So 'pag pina-opera ko 'to, two months ako mawawala. So parang isang conference na 'yun."

"Ayaw ko naman na mag-miss ng isang conference dahil lang sa daliri," he added.

As for his back, it's an injury that Rosario has some experience with, having endured slipped discs in college that were also treated by Canlas.

"So 'yung sensation talaga, babalik daw 'yun pero matagal-tagal. Medyo masama lang talaga ang bagsak ko," he explained.