Justin Chua wasn’t going to miss the TNT Tropang Giga’s success, even though he was still on crutches barely a week after having an ACL operation.
The 33-year-old big man was in the stands to encourage and support his team as they defeated Barangay Ginebra in Game 6 to claim the first Governors’ Cup championship in franchise history.
Chua was understandably pleased with the Tropang Giga for accomplishing such a remarkable performance against the two-time defending champs.
But if there was anything he wished he could have done to assist the team in finishing a task he had been a part of in the beginning, it was that.
Looking back, Chua remarked, “It was a pleasant sensation.”
In Game 1 of the finals, Chua was a member of the starting lineup for TNT, and by the time the first quarter was up, he had already scored three points. However, all of a sudden, he collapsed to the ground on his own.
He initially believed it to be a minor injury, but it was subsequently shown to be another ACL tear.
Chua underwent surgery five days after that. He started his recovery on Monday of last week, and he was actually prepared to see Game 5 of the championship series.
His physical therapist eventually gave in and permitted him to watch the game that sealed the championship with wife Geanne, despite his perseverance in his recovery.
The experienced center from Ateneo was fortunate enough to escape the beer and water shower that would have occurred during the TNT celebration inside the dugout because of his health.
He is doing well in terms of his rehabilitation thus far.
Meanwhile: For his most recent “ligang labas” misdeed, Jio Jalalon was punished one-half of a month’s pay
According to a dependable source, Jio Jalalon has been suspended by Magnolia for 15 days without pay for his involvement in the illegal, brawl-marred “ligang labas” game that took place in Catmon, Cebu, last weekend.
A max contract player earning P420,000 a month, Jalalon is set to lose P210,000 in wages.
This penalty is in addition to what the league is planning to impose on Jalalon and other players who were found to be in breach of the Uniformed Players’ Contract (UPC) of the PBA by providing their services to other ball clubs without the express permission of their mother teams.
The source also claimed that Jalalon was forced to sign a statement acknowledging a harsher punishment because he had done the same offense a few years before. Hence, the hefty fine.
The insider further said that since Jalalon was expelled from the team following his punishment, Magnolia has not participated in team practices.
The Star Hotshots selected the guard, who stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, in the 2016 PBA draft. He attended Arellano University. Under the leadership of head coach Chito Victolero, he has developed since then into a dependable starter.
For the just finished Governor’s Cup Conference, Jalalon, 30, averaged 10.3 points, 6.09 rebounds, and 6.2 assists across 11 games.