LARRY Fonacier watched from the sidelines while his new team NLEX took a 114-110 beating at the hands of San Miguel Beermen in the PBA Commissioner's Cup on Friday night.
Fonacier, who joined NLEX by way of a blockbuster trade earlier this month, underwent surgery to remove bone spurs on his left foot but was ready to play if called upon.
However, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao preached patience, saying there was no need to rush Fonacier's return with the Road Warriors no longer in the running for a playoff berth.
"Bone spurs happen with prolonged use. They’re not serious so this is the time to take care of them. He’ll be ready for the third conference," the multi-titled coach said.
Guiao added he had the option to play the former Ateneo sniper in their last two outings, but it's a risk he'd rather not take.
"Itong two games namin, hindi na namin kailangan madaliin eh. Actually, if he wanted to play in the last three games, pwede siya maglaro, kaya lang, baka naman yung third conference ang tamaan," he said.
"Two games na lang yung natitira sa amin, we really dont have the chance to make it to the playoffs. So we're using the next two games, actually the next two months, to prepare ourselves to be a little better," he added.
"Di naman a little better, but to be a lot better compared to what we had accomplished in this conference."