The Loyola Meralco Sparks have suffered a devastating week leading up to the start of the season, with no less than four players forced out due to various injuries.
“Simon (Greatwich) is out with ligament damage to his ankle, but he should be back soon. Joaco (Cañas) is also out with ligament damage to his ankle, and we have Phil (Younghusband) out with ligament damage to his knee,” confirmed head coach Simon McMenemy.
While the trio’s absence in Sunday’s encounter with Ceres-La Salle is certainly a massive blow to the team, the most unfortunate injury has been to new signing Arnel Amita, who is feared to have suffered a tear to his ACL.
“We’ve had one very serious injury over the last week, with Nano (Arnel Amita) probably doing a serious injury to his knee. We’re very concerned about that one. We’re very keen to get Nano back. He will be a very important player for us for years to come,” said McMenemy.
Although understandably disappointed by the timing and extent of the team’s injury troubles, Simon is confident the setbacks will not affect the Sparks’ mentality.
“We have a few very influential players out for at least the foreseeable next two weeks – it’s very frustrating,” he continued. ” You lose players like that and it’s a blow, there’s no way around that. But this is a strong enough unit to believe that they can beat anyone with anyone on the pitch, so I’m confident that we’ll show up on Sunday and fight for everything we can get out of the game.”
On top of the team’s injury woes, the Sparks will also be without the services of Anto Gonzales (UP coach), Daniel Gadia, Ian Clarino, and Ace Villaneuva, who will all be focusing on UAAP duties with University of the Philippines on Sunday.