NLEX will be one less player again when it plays Rain or Shine on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
Big man Raul Soyud injured his shooting hand and is not suiting up in the 7 p.m. main game opposite the former team of coach Yeng Guiao, joining Enrico Villanueva on the Road Warriors' injured list.
“Nasugat yung kamay niya, may napunit sa loob and it needed six stitches kaya he’ll not be able to play tomorrow (today),” said Guiao at the end of the Road Warriors’ afternoon practice on Thursday.
The absence of the 6-foot-6 center meant another casualty for the hard-luck Road Warriors, who are already without shooting guard Garvo Lanete (sprain) and back-up big man Villanueva (MCL).
Rain or Shine, on the other hand, will most likely be without Raymond Almazan, who suffered an injury in practice on Friday.
The injury incurred by the 25-year-old Soyud couldn’t have come at a worse time as he’s having a breakout year in the league under Guiao.
The third-year center is averaging 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds through five games with the team.
With another key player added to the Road Warriors’ injury list, NLEX is again hard-pressed to look for help in a bid to end its four-game losing skid after winning its opening day outing against Alaska, 86-84.
But Guiao said the Road Warriors remain confident about getting over the hump.
“Maganda naman ang takbo, it’s still a positive mood for everyone,” he said.
Guiao actually expects a slow start for NLEX considering more or less the same experience he endured at the early stages of his stints with Swift and later, Rain or Shine.
“I expected some difficulty, some adversity in all the teams that I’ve coached. And usually it happens as part of the process,” said the veteran coach.
“We just hope that the process become faster and we get out of the slump sooner, because there’s no short cuts to this, you have to pass the trial and tribulations before you mold character.”