MANILA, Philippines – The NLEX Road Warriors may miss the services of big man Raul Soyud and veteran swingman Alex Mallari when they return to action in the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
Both players are dealing with minor injuries and are day-to-day, according to head coach Yeng Guiao.
"Raul Soyud is getting back from a shoulder injury, and then si Alex Mallari is also coming back from a foot injury naman," Guiao explained after Wednesday's practice.
Both Soyud and Mallari put shots up during their practice but did not join the team in scrimmages. Soyud did not play in their Christmas Day game against GlobalPort, while Mallari was limited to under 15 minutes of action.
"Their injuries are not serious," said Guiao. "But they still affect the team somehow."
"We are not that healthy, but we are not as unlucky as other teams who are nursing injuries to key players. But I wish they were able to contribute 100%," he added.
Asked if Soyud and Mallari will suit up against Phoenix, Guiao said: "I'd rather play safe, instead of gambling them."
"We have tough teams ahead of us," he noted. "So if you ask me now, it's an 80-20 situation – 80% not playing them, 20% playing them."
NLEX won its first two games of the conference, and is seeking a third straight win on Sunday against the Fuel Masters. Phoenix, for its part, split its first two assignments.
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