JAKARTA, Indonesia – Everyone waited until the last 40 seconds of the game to see John Paul "Poy" Erram hit a dagger three plus a freebie to ice the Gilas Pilipinas' dominant win over Japan on Tuesday, August 28.
But it isn't all smiles for Erram just yet as the team is still aiming for a win against Syria for a fifth-place finish in the classification round – even if he has to fight minus his front teeth.
"Di pa tapos yung trabaho namin eh so pahinga kami bukas tapos focus ulit kami sa 31 para sa game namin," said Erram.
(Our job isn't done yet so we're going to rest first tomorrow then we'll focus again for our game on the 31st.)
After the Blackwater center chased the ball going out of bounds during the game against Korea, he dove for it but crashed into the advertisting boards that chipped his teeth.
Erram wound up losing his front teeth as dentist said they had to be pulled out to prevent serious damage.
"Pumunta ako sa dentist kahapon pagkatapos ng game tapos tinanggal kasi nagcrack na talaga hanggang loob, hanggang gums," recalled Erram.
(I went to the dentist yesterday after the game, he pulled out my teeth since it cracked and affected the gum area.)
"So yung isa naman tinanggal yung mga sharp edges, tapos tinakpan na lang kasi nangingilo eh, medyo masakit siya so pagbalik pa ng Manila tsaka siya maaayos."
(The dentist took out the sharp edges of the other tooth, covered it because it was aching, but it still hurts a bit. I will have it fixed when I get back to Manila.)
But even with all the minor aches and pains, the Gilas center isn't about to give any excuse as he hopes to give his best for the team to secure a fifth-place finish.
"Kahit ano man mangyari ganun talaga yung effort kahit na sa PBA man ito, na sa Asian Games man ito, or noong college pa ako, every time na gagamitin ako ng coach, yun yung goal ko – para makatulong sa team," said Erram.
(Whatever happens, I always give my best effort, whether it's in the PBA, the Asian Games or even back when I was in college. Every time coaches send me out to play, that's my goal – to help the team.) – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.