MANILA, Philippines – It’s almost like La Salle lost twice in one game.
With just five minutes played in his UAAP debut with the De La Salle Green Archers, highly-touted Kiwi reinforcement Taane Samuel suffered a yet unspecified left foot injury.
The 6-foot-8 big man apparently landed on the foot of either FEU forward Arvin Tolentino or center Prince Orizu during a rebound battle 50 seconds into the second quarter.
After hobbling slowly to the bench under his own power, Samuel would not return again and helplessly watched his team fall to the Tamaraws, 61-68.
A visibly dismayed Samuel faced reporters after the game and relayed the bad news.
“I can’t really explain, I just landed on someone’s foot and just tweaked,” he said. “It’s in a lot of pain right now. I’ll get it checked now.”
Coach Louie Gonzales said it might be a stress fracture, but Samuel has yet to check with doctors as of writing.
Despite the unfortunate setback so early into the season, the former Tall Black bruiser is confident that the team will find success without him.
“It’s not gonna change anything,” he said. “It is what it is. Just gotta keep pushing.”
“Very [disappointed though]," he added. “We’ve been working out really hard these past few months, pushing, getting into the best shape. And for this to happen so early in the game. It hurts, man. It hurts the team, not just me.”
The versatile Samuel, along with fellow giants Justine Baltazar, Santi Santillan and Brandon Bates, are expected to fill the shoes of two-time MVP Ben Mbala, who has since left the team to play professionally abroad. – Rappler.com