Fit-again UP guard Kyles Lao is raring to gradually find his groove back this summer.
Almost one year out due to his ACL injury, Lao had a modest comeback game in UP Fighting Maroons’ debut in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup on Wednesday, finishing with 2 points with a single rebound and assist in 18 minutes of play in their first loss under new coach Bo Perasol.
“Nangangapa pa, parang may gigil na. One year na pala (since my injury) pero siyempre I’m very happy na nakabalik na ako pero alam ko sa sarili ko na kulang pa,” Lao told FOX Sports after his first competitive game this year.
The former Rookie of the Year (Season 77) is expected to tend the backcourt at point guard spot for the Fighting Maroons.
“Sinabi niya sa start ng game na be a leader tapos kailangan mag-create ‘di lang para sa sarili kundi para sa teammates,” shared Lao on Perasol’s instruction to him.
Shocked that he was given ample time to play in his return to the hardcourt, the 5-foot-11 playmaker is challenged to prove his worth to Perasol.
“It’s more on my side na lang to give back kung anong binibigay na confidence (ni Coach Bo),” said Lao.
The ex-Xavier standout actually started practicing again for the Diliman crew in mid-February, assuring that he is already 100% heading for the men’s cage wars that will kick off later this year.
“Knee, legs, lahat healthy na, yung laro na lang talaga. One year rin ako nawala so nandun pa rin yung jitters and adjustment period na kailangan ko talaga,” he said. – By Jason Mercene
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