It has been more than a month since Rain or Shine annexed the Governors’ Cup title, but Jamelle Cornley is still in the Philippines, whose culture he has completely embraced.
The tournament’s Best Import underwent knee surgery shortly after the Elasto Painters championship victory and has decided to stay in the Philippines to rehabilitate his injury.
Cornley suffered a meniscus tear in his knee in Game Six, but played through pain to lead Rain or Shine to a Game Seven triumph. He didn’t hesitate getting treatment in the country at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan.
“It was the same hospital where Larry [Rodriguez] and Paul Lee were treated, so I guess there won’t be a problem if I stay there and have my knee treated,” said Cornley, who said the Philippines is the best place to lounge around while he recovers. He would often show up to Rain or Shine practice in crutches just to cheer on teammates.
“I love the people, I love the culture and I love the Filipinos’ passion in the game of basketball. There’s no other people I’ve seen as crazy as Filipinos when it comes to basketball,” he said.
“I also love the way Philippine basketball is played. Unlike in America, basketball here is played using the bounce pass because they’re not that tall. But I like that.”
After recovery, Cornley plans to pursue opportunities abroad, but promises to be back for next year’s Governors’ Cup to help defend Rain or Shine’s title.
“I’m looking forward to it. I want to play and win another championship with Rain or Shine. We’re a family here,” he said.
But beyond playing in the PBA, Cornley wants to establish more permanent roots in the Philippines.
“People have warmly embraced me and that’s the reason why I’m thinking of making the Philippines my second home,” said Cornley.
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