Sports

Zavier Lucero exits Game 3, tearfully tells teammates he’s ‘done’


Zavier Lucero fell late in UP's UAAP Finals Game 2 loss.  –UAAP PHOTO

Zavier Lucero fell late in UP’s UAAP Finals Game 2 loss. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Zavier Lucero has delivered sad news to his teammates: He will sit out Game 3 of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament due to a knee injury.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla and Pato Gregorio, members of UP’s governing committee, told the Inquirer that Lucero made the announcement late Thursday during the group’s review session.

“I’m done,” Lucero was quoted by two officials.

“He just gave our team a rallying cry — get it for me,” Remulla said Friday, adding that the massive athlete was in tears and on crutches as give notice.

The defending Maroons champions take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles in Game 3 win-all at 6 p.m. Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-7 striker, as confirmed by MRI tests performed late on Wednesday following the 66-56 loss to Ateneo, has torn his left ACL and could be out of action. at least a year, causing him to put on hold any plans to turn pro.

Gregorio says the team cried as Lucero was speaking in front of them, with the clip showing contactless driving where the massive runner says he heard a crack on his left knee pausing work. context.

“He basically gave the team the momentum it needed, even if we were going to be a disappointing player,” said Gregorio.

Born to a Mexican father and a Filipino mother, Lucero was considered a “lucky” child by his family after the family found some stability the year he was born.

Lucero, really, is savior of the Maroons in 72-66 winning the series opener, his block against the towering Ange Kouame in the winning seconds sealed the deal.

But that luck turned sour in Game 2.

This will be the second injury to a major link at UP this year after CJ Cansino also tore the MCL last season. But unlike Lucero, Cansino still has some years to play and will certainly be there for the Maroons next year, possibly again as their leader on the ring.

Cansino, who transferred from the University of Santo Tomas, was there to encourage his former teammates during the lull, telling them to stay positive even when they played badly to the point of losing. Game 2 early is inevitable.

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