ADD Phoenix to the growing number of teams that have suffered major blows even before the PBA 45th season could tip off.
The Fuel Masters won't have two big men when the season-opening Philippine Cup kicks off on March 8, including new acquisition Jake Pascual, who recently went down with an ACL injury.
Also out is burly Dave Marcelo who underwent surgery to remove bones spurs on his foot.
Phoenix is the latest team which suffered major casualty in its frontcourt prior to the all-Filipino conference after five-time champion San Miguel (June Mar Fajardo) and Barangay Ginebra (Greg Slaughter).
Both former San Beda stalwarts had successful surgeries on their respective injuries on Friday.
Marcelo could be set for a mid-season return, but Pascual is likely out for the entire season.
The 31-year-old Pascual was acquired by the Fuel Masters shortly after the last rookie draft for a 2020 second round pick in an effort to shore up the Phoenix frontcourt that was recently orphaned by the retirement of Doug Kramer and Willy Wilson.
Unfortunately, he went down with the injury even before the season started, incurring it during the Fuel Masters' 87-79 win over the visiting Dankook University of Korea.
With the injuries to Pascual and Marcelo, Phoenix is now left with a frontcourt tended by Justine Chua, Jason Perkins, and newly-acquired veteran Jay-R Reyes.