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Datu shakes off injury, eyes return

Prized rookie Keith Datu will be good to go when Rain or Shine collides with Phoenix Super LPG in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup this Saturday at the Ynares Center.

The 6-foot-8 slotman said he will be back in action after sitting out in their 103-113 loss to NorthPort last Sunday due to a knee injury.

Datu is the second Rain or Shine rookie to be hampered by knee issues as Luis Villegas — the No. 3 pick in the recent Annual Rookie Draft — is still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament tear that he suffered while playing for University of the East in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

“I’m good. I’ll be back next game,” said Datu, who joined the Elasto Painters’ training last Tuesday.

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao admitted that Datu’s absence created a gaping hole in their interior defense.

After all, the Filipino-American center had a massive impact in their 102-107 loss to Meralco in the opener after firing 16 points and five rebounds.

“He was such a big role for us that we really felt his absence,” Guiao said.

“He was our main man at the post last time, then all of a sudden, he didn’t play, so we have to adjust on a short notice.”

Guiao said Datu’s injury isn’t serious.

“I felt he was able to eat something that somehow made his knee swollen,” Guiao said.

Rain or Shine has lost its first two games and Guiao believes they should play with a sense of urgency, especially import DaJuan Summers.

“He’s played decently offensively,” Guiao said.

“But while his offense looks okay, I believe he needs to do more on the defensive end. A lot of imports who are playing here are two-way players. He needs to do the same.”

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