With almost 9 minutes left in the fourth period, Marcus Weathers drove hard against Cliff Hodge and the latter ended up on the floor.
For several minutes Hodge was down, reeling from an inadvertent elbow from the NorthPort import.
Apparently, the Meralco bruiser sustained a cut in the inner part of his upper lip in that play, according to PBA courtside reporter Apple David.
But a cut just won’t cut it. Hodge is known for being relentless on the court any time of day, and Thursday’s game was no exception.
Hurt and all, he returned to the court at the PhilSports Arena a minute and a half later to help Meralco weather a late NorthPort surge and ran away with a 107-102 win in their PBA Governors’ Cup affair.
He finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. But his value in the homestretch cannot be really quantified.
If it it were up to him, he wouldn't even want to be brought to the hospital after the cut. But his team's staff has to give it a second look and assess whether it needs stitches or not.
“Hopefully I wont have to go there cause going to the hospital sucks. But if I need stitches then ill get it. If not, we have a game on Saturday so I might gauze it up and play. We’ll see,” said Hodge after the match.
The Bolts cruised to a 2-0 start, and head coach Norman Black attributed it to a healthy core that included Hodge, Chris Banchero, and Chris Newsome, who was out in the Commissioner’s Cup owing to a calf injury.
With the Bolts riddled with injuries to key players, Meralco failed to advance to the playoff of the mid-season conference.
But now that they are back at his disposal, Black said the Bolts have a better chance of piling up wins.
“They are the three main players of the team so to have them healthy, gives us a better chance of winning. We don’t really have the depth of some of the other teams in the league so I really need my best players to be out on the court as much as possible,” he said.