By Adrian Stewart Co
John Paul Erram is doubtful to play for the TNT Tropang Giga in Game 5 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series with San Miguel Beermen today at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
According to Tropang Giga team manager Gabby Cui, the former Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagle is suspected to have suffered a fractured cheekbone during Game 4 of the series last Sunday.
“(It’s a) suspected fractured cheekbone and his status for Game 5 is a game time decision,” Cui said in a statement. “More tests are to be done on JP.”
Erram sustained the injury as he was pursuing a loose ball along with Beermen center Moala Tautuaa and slammed hard onto the court in the process.
Tautuaa also fell and inadvertently hit the already prone Erram, whose head bounced off the hardwood. Erram exited that match and was send to a hospital.
Tautuaa, for his part, said his fall on top of fellow center Erram was not intentional but he could not control his momentum as they both go for the looseball.
“We were both scrambling for the ball, and my legs got tangled up. I try to not land on him,” Tautuaa said. “I was trying not to fall on him and when I tried to jump, I didn’t get out far enough.”
“I wish all the best for him, and prayers for him. But no way it was intentional or anything like that,” he added. “I’m gonna ask his teammates, make sure he’s okay, make sure he’s alright.”
Erram will be a huge loss for the Tropang Giga if ever he will miss today’s game after playing a crucial role for head coach Vincent “Chot” Reyes in their two wins against the Beermen in the series.
Both teams are knotted at 2-2 in this best-of-seven semifinals series putting the encounter at six in the evening a crucial one as the winner will be closer to a PBA Finals return./ASC, WDJ