Aljon Mariano sat out Brgy. Ginebra’s first 2 games of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup and there’s a grim possibility that the former University of Sto. Tomas standout could miss the entire conference.
The 28-year old Mariano had undergone surgery during the off-season to remove bone spurs on his foot and Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone revealed that recovery period could take as long as 10 weeks, which basically covers the entire stretch of the season-opening tournament.
“We are going to miss him for probably most, if not, all of the conference. He had to go to a second surgery just before the conference started. That’s going to put him out for six to eight weeks, maybe 10 weeks. That could be the whole conference,” said Cone shortly after the crowd darlings picked up their first win of the season courtesy of Blackwater.
The league’s winningest mentor admitted that Mariano was an integral part of the team’s rotation which has so far resulted in back-to-back championships – the 2019 Governors’ Cup and the 2020 Philippine Cup.
“That’s the guy we really miss because he brings a lot of toughness. He is kinda the forgotten man in our success that we have in the last two conference,” explained Cone.
Mariano averaged 8.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists during the ‘Bubble Season’ in Clark, Pampanga and was instrumental as the Gin Kings ended a 13-year title drought in the league’s most prestigious conference.