MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle University head coach Derick Pumaren is hoping for a "miracle message" as the Green Archers continue to miss the contributions of star guard Schonny Winston.
The Filipino-American guard has now missed four consecutive games for the Green Archers in UAAP Season 85 after suffering a calf injury in their first round game against Adamson University.
"Schonny is still day to day," Pumaren told reporters after La Salle's 82-80 win over University of the Philippines (UP) on Sunday that fuelled their chances of making it to the Final 4.
"He'll have his check up again on Monday," he added. "Hopefully we'll get a miracle message from heaven that he can start playing."
Winston emerged as the top candidate for Most Valuable Player honors after the first round of Season 85, when he put up averages of 21.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 3.0 steals for the Green Archers.
However, his chances of winning the top individual award hinges on his availability in La Salle's final three games of the elimination round. Only players who have played in at least 70% of their team's elimination round games are qualified to win MVP honors and other individual prizes.
Winston had 84.429 statistical points (SPs) after the first round, followed by UP's JD Cagulangan with 78.0 SPs. Cagulangan will not meet the threshold for games played, however, having made only five appearances for the Fighting Maroons so far in the season.
Ateneo de Manila University's Forthsky Padrigao ranked third after the first round with 76.571 SPs.
Pumaren could not say with certainty if Winston will suit up for La Salle on Wednesday when they play National University.
"We still don't know, he's still day to day," the coach said.
The Green Archers will wrap up their elimination round schedule against University of the East and University of Santo Tomas.
UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.