FILE – TNT big man Justin Chua shoots a jumper against Terrafirma in the PBA Governors’ Cup. PBA IMAGES

Justin Chua went from playing for a club competing for a Philippine Basketball Association title to backstopping a crew trying to prove that it belongs.

It would have been a tad easier to turn in the help for Blackwater in doing that, but a second ligament tear on the same knee has kept him out of it. Until now.

“Sure, it’s a bit saddening to think that I was with a championship contender, and now I’m here. But you know, I want to take things positively,” the big man, who was formerly with TNT, told the Inquirer.

Chua truly looked the part in the Bossing’s 105-86 losing stand against Barangay Ginebra at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, turning in 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The former Defensive Player of the Year suffered a noncontact injury during the curtain-raiser of the 2023 Governors’ Cup Finals between the Tropang Giga and the Gin Kings this month last year. Chua’s teammates went on to win with the help of import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Chua said he wasn’t too high on his double-double performance against the crowd darlings last Friday, saying he is focused on helping Blackwater get back on track.“I actually don’t mind my stats. I just want to help this team win. The team won three straight and has now lost four. Technically, I haven’t won with Blackwater,” he pointed out with a chuckle.

Now healthy, Chua’s motivation is to help prove that Blackwater is worthy of playing in the pioneering pro league.

“I want to help this franchise overcome being a cellar-dweller,” he said. INQ

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