Zav Lucero to miss UAAP finals decider due to ACL injury

Zav Lucero suffered ACL and meniscus injuries late into Game 2 of the UAAP Finals. UAAP Season 85 Media Team
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—The University of the Philippines has just seen the last of Zav Lucero in college basketball.

The high-flying swingman will be out for the do-or-die Game 3 of the UAAP men's basketball finals after it was confirmed that he suffered knee ligament injuries late into Game 2.

Lucero, in particular, hurt his anterior cruciate and meniscus ligaments in his left knee after an awkward landing with 8:31 left in the game and the Fighting Maroons trailing big, 44-59, to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

UP would attempt a comeback midway through the fourth, but Ateneo eventually prevailed with a 65-55 win that forced a 1-1 deadlock in the best-of-three finals.

Game 3 is on Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The six-foot-seven forward was among those mainly responsible for the Fighting Maroons' first UAAP title since 1986 last season.

In the final season of his two-and-through stint, Lucero remained a key player for UP like in Game 1, where he tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.

Prior to the injury, he had six points in Game 2.

Recovery from an ACL injury usually takes 6-8 months.

A projected first-round pick in next year's PBA Draft although accepting offers from foreign teams is also an option, Lucero could possibly return to action by late September at the soonest, just in time for the start of the new season.

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