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Baracael in stable condition; police  remain clueless

Mac Baracael, the Far Eastern U hotshot who was shot at the back Thursday night, is now in stable condition and under observation at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City.

“He is now conscious. Thank God, he’s in stable condition,” said FEU coach Glen Capacio.

Baracael, a key player on the FEU rotation, was shot at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday outside the Philtrust Bank at the corner of Morayta and R. Papa streets after the team’s practice. He was with teammates Ron Cabagnot and Papua New Guinean Robert Kave.

Police recovered two empty shells from a .45-caliber pistol from the crime scene. FEU team manager Anton Montinola said the lone gunman casually walked away after firing two shots.

Police said they remain clueless on the motive behind the shooting.

Baracael was brought to the Mary Chiles Hospital by his teammates and was later transferred to the Capitol Medical Center for some treatment and tests.

“He’s under observation and will undergo more tests to determine the internal damage,” said Montinola, who left Baracael’s side at 3 a.m. yesterday after the cager’s parents arrived from their home province in Quezon.

Dr. Honesto Marcos of the surgery department of the Mary Chiles Hospital said Baracael, a transferee from PCCr who suited up for Burger King in the PBL, was brought to the emergency room at around 8:35 p.m. by teammates and was taken to the operating room immediately after.

“The point of entry of the bullet was approximately through the lower thorax posterior aspect, left side, and then it exited just below the nipple line,” Marcos said.

Montinola said they have detailed security personnel to ensure the cager’s safety.

“He couldn’t talk yet but he’s conscious and recovering well,” said Allan Gregorio, Baracael’s coach in the PBL.

Montinola claimed that Baracael was the apparent target that was corroborated by several witnesses, who said they heard no sound of gunshots that led them to believe that the assailant used a silencer.

Baracael is one of FEU’s top players, averaging 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the early going of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

He shot 16 points as FEU pulled off a 70-65 victory over 2006 champion University of Santo Tomas last Sunday at the Philsports Arena.

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