MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia reinforcement Romeo Travis could only hope that a PBA championship will serve as reward for all the beating he has endured in the 2018 Governors’ Cup finals.
The former Best Import played through a busted glabella as the Hotshots moved on the brink of clinching their first title since 2014 with a thrilling 79-78 Game 5 win over Alaska on Friday, December 14.
He sustained the injury midway through the 3rd quarter of Magnolia’s 76-90 Game 4 loss last Wednesday but battled through the pain as he got it stitched up.
“I hope so,” Travis told reporters when asked if winning the precious hardware would make up for the injuries he sustained during the series.
“It’s very frustrating to play basketball like this, it’s very frustrating to me. I don’t play like that and for me to keep getting these… it’s not coincidental injuries, these are very purposeful injuries.”
“People are really intentionally doing certain things and I come from a place that if you play like this, then it’s no longer basketball. But if I take it to a play where it’s no longer basketball, I hurt my team.”
“And that’s not what I’m here for. I want to win,” he added.
Travis was obviously bothered by the Aces’ physicality against him as he shot a paltry 3-of-19 clip from the field for 10 points – a far cry from his 25.0-point average in the past 4 finals games.
Also, with barely a minute left in the 4th quarter, he grimaced in pain on the floor while clutching his hands following a bad fall from a rebounding play.
Travis, though, compensated for his rough shooting night with 17 rebounds and 6 assists.
“I know what they’re trying to do. I’m just trying to stay positive and stay focused. Today, I kept my emotions in check much better than I did in Game 4 and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Travis added.
“Just stay positive and stay focused, keep meditating, keep praying, working on my attitude and just try to stay positive as I can.”
Battered and all, the 34-year-old was just relieved that the Hotshots gained a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven affair as he inched closer to his first PBA championship.
“We just need to win no matter what, no matter the calls, no matter how I feel, no matter how I play, we just need to win.”
Magnolia will try to close out the series in Game 6 on Wednesday, December 19, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. – Rappler.com
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