TNT’s Justin Chua suffers injury, hopes to return in PBA Finals
MANILA, Philippines—Already missing a big man, TNT was dealt another bad hand on Sunday when Justin Chua had to be subbed out of the game early.
Chua played just three minutes and 26 seconds after sustaining an injury early in Game 1 of the Finals which the Tropang Giga eventually lost, 102-90.
“After spinning on the baseline and after a shot fake, it seems like my knee locked,” Chua told reporters on his way out of the Smart Araneta Coliseum with an ice pack around his knee.
Chua said he feels sorry that he wasn’t able to play for the club at a time when it was missing Kelly Williams (injury), and later in the game Poy Erram (foul trouble).
“I really wanted to help the team, especially I was off to a good start. I scored, I rebounded and then I was able to block a shot. So I felt it was a perfect start,” he said.
“It’s just frustrating that this happened to me—of all times—in the Finals. Hopefully, I could recover soon and help the team,” he said.
The initial check-up, according to Chua, showed nothing serious, but will still need an MRI scan.
Interim coach Jojo Lastimosa, however, said that he is no longer expecting Chua to be playing in Game 2.
Still, Chua is hoping it’s not serious so he could return to the fold at the soonest possible time.
“It’s not painful. It’s like I can’t straighten it, is all. I’ve had an ACL (tear) before and that feels different. This one, I could still walk,” he said.
“I just hope [it’s minor]. Hopefully, through the days, it gets better,” he added.