CLARK FREEPORT – Phoenix Super LPG will continue to miss the services of recent acquisition Jake Pascual in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble as the valuable big man is coming off an ACL surgery.
The Fuel Masters opted not to include the 6-foot-4 banger in their 15-man roster for the conference and just letting Pascual fully heal from the major injury he suffered during a pre-season game.
“He’s (Pascual) still recuperating from ACL injury,” said team manager Paolo Bugia of the former San Beda standout, who the franchise acquired in the off-season following a trade with Alaska for a 2020 second round pick.
Pascual has hardly warmed up at Phoenix when he went down with the injury following the Fuel Masters’ 87-79 win over the visiting Dankook University of Korea during a tune-up match.
But the team hopes to compensate for the loss of Pascual through fit-again Dave Marcelo and veteran center JayR Reyes.
“(Dave) Marcelo is already expected to play,” said Bugia. “Then we’re also looking at JayR Reyes to contribute off the bench.”
Like Pascual, Marcelo underwent surgery early this year to remove bone spurs on his foot, although he was earlier projected for a mid-season comeback.
The 35-year-old Reyes meanwhile, was picked up by the Fuel Masters from the unrestricted free agent list, where he was relegated by Terrafirma just before the season.
Both Marcelo and Reyes are good complements for the Fuel Masters’ regular big men Justine Chua and Jason Perkins.
And who knows, even Calvin Abueva should the PBA decides to finally lift his long overdue suspension.