MANILA, Philippines — Nic Cabañero sat out University of Santo Tomas’ loss to Far Eastern University due to a sprained right ankle on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UST sorely missed its go-to scorer, who sustained the injury in a defeat to defending champion University of the Philippines last Wednesday where the Growling Tigers absorbed their 11th straight loss after opening the season with a victory.
Cabañero, who was in street clothes behind UST’s bench, said he wanted to play through his injury but his coaches and the team’s physical therapist advised him to rest.
“I wanted to play but I have to rest because my ankle is still swollen,” said the sophomore guard in Filipino after UST slumped to 1-12 following a 77-62 setback at the hands of FEU. “There’s no fracture. It depends on me whether I’ll play or not. But our PT and coaches wanted me to sit this one out.”
Ivan Lazarte stepped up in Cabañero’s absence with 13 points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals but UST needed a lot more than that to stop its free fall.
Cabañero, who averaged 17.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game, hopes to play against La Salle on Wednesday and finish strong with a win.
“I might play on Wednesday. I can still feel the pain but it feels better compared to last Wednesday when I got the injury,” he said. “I want to win the next game for us and for me. We’re eyeing a great exit to boost our confidence for the upcoming season.”
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