UST hotshot Suarez still not ready vs. Ateneo

Kyle Suarez aims to come back and play for UST before the end of the elimination round.  Dennis Jerome Acosta/Dugout Philippines
By Alex Cerado

MANILA--The Santo Tomas crowd will have to wait anew for the return of Growling Tigers' spark plug Kyle Suarez.

In a text message sent to Dugout Philippines by Suarez, he said that he won't be able to suit up against Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday to avoid higher risk for his injury.

"Sorry to disappoint but I don't think I can play yet tomorrow," he said.

UST, now with an 8-1 win-loss record atop the standings with Far Eastern University, missed the service of Suarez for the past three games where they all won.

"Actually sabi po kasi nung doctor last Monday, three weeks before I can play," he added. "Tapos tumawag po ako kung pwede maglaro ng Saturday (against NU) but since the risks were too high and I didn't play na lang."

In their game against De La Salle University in the first round where the España-based ballers triumphed 77-61, the former Fighting Maroon suffered a calf strain injury while defending Jeron Teng in the third quarter. 

In that game, Suarez scored nine crucial points on 3-of-3 shooting from the three-point area in just six minutes of playing. 

He was the one who led an enormous UST run that left the Green Archers trailing on a double-digit deficit in the second half. 

After obtaining the injury, Suarez, who still got two more playing years after this season, was immediately sidelined in the bench but earned much respect from the Thomasian community. 

When asked for the particular date that the fans will see him again wearing his black-and-gold jersey, the shooting guard was still uncertain but remained hopeful to play as soon as possible.

"Rest assured po I will comeback this season. I just don't want to risk it getting worse," the UST marksman said. 

"Slowly but surely I'll be a hundred percent but that's all according to His timeline." 

The Tigers will be eyeing for their ninth and fifth-straight victory at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday at 4 p.m.