CLARK FREEPORT–Alaska absorbed a massive blow in its early PBA Philippine Cup campaign as wingman Kevin Racal suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in his right knee.
The Aces’ head coach Jeffrey Cariaso broke the bad news on Thursday morning.
“Kevin is doing okay. Unfortunately, the official result (of the MRI) is he did suffer a complete ACL (injury). So, he’s done for this bubble,” said Cariaso.
Racal went down while guarding Jayson Castro with 7:19 to go in the third quarter of Alaska’s 95-100 loss to TNT in the first game of the PBA restart on Sunday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The 6-foot-3 forward also missed the Aces’ 81-93 defeat to Meralco on Thursday night.
Cariaso said the development came as a surprise for the 29-year-old Racal, who was still able to do a few exercises before the diagnosis came out.
“It’s weird. The physical test was not equivalent to the results. But when you look deeper into the MRI, doon makikita natin na there was really a tear.”
Cariaso said Racal could miss the first conference next season as the former Letran star will be out for at least six months.
Racal will exit the bubble after renowned orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Jose Raul Canlas checks on him on Saturday.
Fil-Nigerian guard Maverick Ahanmisi, who arrived at the Quest Hotel on Thursday, is expected to fill the position left by Racal.
Ahanmisi is set undergo a mandatory two-day quarantine until his swab test comes back negative. The 6-foot-2 cager is expected to play in Alaska’s game against Magnolia on Saturday.