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Inclement weather help Gutang to return from MCL injury without missing so many games

by Niel Victor Masoy, August 13, 2019 11:19pm

The inclement weather for almost the past two weeks which led to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cancelling its games helped De La Salle - College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB) sophomore winger Justin Gutang to recover from a sprained MCL injury without missing so much action.

Gutang incurred the said injury and also a bruised right calf in the Blazers game against the Mapua University (MU) Cardinals last July 25 in the latter’s gymnasium in Intramuros.

“The rainstorm or the flooding really did help us because not only did I got injured but some of the guys as well got injured especially during practice,” said Gutang, who after missing St. Benilde’s game against the San Sebastian College Recoletos last July 30, finally played in the Blazers’ contest against the Arellano University (AU) Chiefs on Thursday.

“The two weeks off got us all back together, playing together,” added Gutang.

Against the Chiefs, the 6-foot-2 Filipino-American put up 12 points, seven rebounds, and five assists as he helped the Blazers won the game, 82-77.

Gutang, though, admitted it was tough to come back from the injury he sustained.

“It was almost a tear. But it was a sprain and I really couldn’t do anything for the first week, the second week it was getting better like I could do a little bit shooting ane after that I just kept strengthening and doing conditioning,” he said.

And he shared he’s not yet fully recovered.

“I missed the alley-oop dunk so it’s (MCL) not at full strength yet so I gotta keep working on it,” said Gutang, referring to his teammate Unique Naboa’s lob pass to him which he caught, and dunked the ball but it rattled out of the rim.

Meanwhile, the Blazers (5-0), who are in the middle of their best start since joining the league in 1998, are set to face the also rolling Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates on Friday.

For Gutang, their matchup against the Pirates - the last season's runners up - would serve as an acid test as to what they are really capable of.

“It’s a testament for us mentally, physically, everything. We know what we’re capable of,” said Gutang.

“We played against LPU about four times already the past summer in preseason. We already know how they play and it just comes down to our mental strength and our poise on the court.”

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