By Patricia Bermudez-Hizon
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Doug Kramer is non-stop. When push comes to shove, he's out there hauling!
Because of the shortened single round robin format of the Commissioner's Cup, every single game counts which is why Rain or Shine treated their game against the Meralco Bolts like it was the playoffs. It was the only time that the two squads would cross paths in the eliminations, so winning and busting egos absolutely mattered. Things were on edge and rough on the hard court, which is exactly how the fans like it.
Doug was in the thick of the fight, and he paid dearly for it. In the 2nd quarter, he sprained his ankle off the break and had a pinched a nerve. "It was not really sprain but something happened to my ligaments on my left ankle." Determined to continue, he convinced Coach Yeng Guiao that he was good to go.
Not too long after though, Mac Cardona accidentally hit Doug's left hand and he ended up with a swollen left knuckle. Determined to continue, he convinced Coach Yeng Guiao that he could still be effective.
In a lot of pain, but resolute. Doug wasn't going to back down. Not even when things went from bad to worst.
Meralco's Gabby Espinas inadvertently hit Doug's head… HARD! "I thought my lips were torn, and I knew it was a big cut", shares Doug. Probing the damage with his tongue, what he felt next disturbed him.
"The first thing I noticed was cut in my lip but when I was trying to feel it, my tongue went through where there was supposed to be a tooth."
There was only about six minutes left in the game and Doug knew that if told any of the PTs about his predicament, they'd recommend that he be taken out. "But I wanted to stay in the game so I just kept my mouth shut… Literally! Whatever the coaches were telling me, I was just nodding."
"I was focused on the game, and I did not want to tell telling anyone about it…. After the game that's when the pain set in". He had a crown on that tooth but even the permanent tooth that the crown was anchored on got severed.
Doug Kramer got player of the game in that win, and he couldn't help anymore but be all smiles, revealing that he had lost a tooth. It was a funny sight but he beamed those pearly whites.. what was left of it… with pride.
He was not spared by the team though. "The guys were laughing at me but they were applauding in the locker room".
Doug played through a lot of pain. "I prayed for strength more than the tooth, it was my ankle. I was limping and was feeling pain every time I put pressure on the ball of my foot and my hand. But I'm glad that I did".