Defying doctors' advice, Ashaolu helps NLEX stay unscathed
ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Even minus head coach Yeng Guiao, NLEX clinched its second win in as many outings in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. And it is largely thanks to import Olu Ashaolu, who is defying doctor's advice not to play.
Revealed to have a 70% tear on his right patellar tendon, Ashaolu shrugged off his knee injury and chalked up 27 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists in the Road Warriors' 123-107 win over NorthPort on Sunday, August 19.
Just two days earlier, he also dropped a 33-point and 23-rebound performance in a 130-90 triumph against TNT despite getting hobbled by the same injury.
"I probably shouldn't be playing but I mean, I'm here to play basketball," Ashaolu told reporters after the win. "Until we figure out a plan moving forward, as of right now, I'll keep getting some wins for this team."
The injury looked like it already took its toll on the Canadian-Nigerian after he was kept scoreless in the maiden period and limited to a measly 6 points on a 2-of-8 shooing in the first half.
It was in the 3rd quarter when Ashaolu broke out from his shell and delivered 13 points as the Road Warriors swung a 61-58 halftime lead to a 94-78 advantage heading into the final frame.
He added another 8 points in the payoff period as he and NLEX spoiled Batang Pier import Rashad Woods' 42-point, 12-rebound, 8-assist and 4-steal showing.
"I wasn't playing eight months ago, I had a surgery. I really thought the game was gonna get taken away from me. I have a second chance at playing, I'm not gonna let something minor stop me."
Fortunately for Ashaulo, he does not need surgery to repair his knee and will only undergo rehabiliation to get back into shape.
But rest will have to wait for the 30-year-old as he is set to suit up for the Road Warriors anew against Magnolia on Wednesday, August 22, at the Araneta Coliseum with replacement import Aaron Fuller arriving on Tuesday, August 21. – Rappler.com
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