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Tough break for Gilas, Blackwater as Belo reveals meniscus tear

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By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Mac Belo first thought it is just a typical knee injury for athletes.

It is actually more painful than that.

The Blackwater and Gilas wingman revealed that what he once thought was a mere iliotibial band syndrome is actually a meniscus tear on his right knee.

"Nakaka-down kasi number one enemy ng players is yung injury talaga," Belo told reporters on Monday night following Gilas' practice at the Meralco Gym about how he felt after determining the actual extent of his knee injury.

On how he began to feel that the lingering pain on his knee is beyond the ITB syndrome, Belo shared, "Ngayong conference na nilaro namin, doon ko na naramdaman na nawawalan ng lakas, so nag-decide ako na ipa-MRI. Yun ang result na nakita ng MRI."

Belo, although in attendance during the national pool training, did not join the practice. He also did not suit up for the Elite in their game on Friday night against the TNT KaTropa, which they lost.

[Related Story: TNT rallies in fourth to repulse Blackwater in battle of retooled squads]

He also said that he has to go through the knife as soon as possible.

"'Kailangang tanggalin talaga yung punit,' yun ang sabi ng doktor," Belo further bared what the physician told him.

Belo also said that recovery time will be from four to six weeks, which effectively makes him unavailable for the SEABA Men's Championship on May 12-18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

"Nakakapanghinayang, kasi kung ako ang masusunod, siyempre gusto ko pang maglaro," he rued following the said development, which, following the earlier injury to Arth Dela Cruz, would mean Blackwater will be without a representative to Gilas' SEABA bid.

Still, he will take the said injury on a positive note.

"Kailangan ko na lang tanggapin at gawing motivation na kailangang magpalakas talaga at mag-double effort sa strengthening," Belo further said.

Should he recover on time, Belo will only become available on May 27, when Blackwater takes on Ginebra.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno
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