Blackwater will be heading to its first PBA playoff appearance in three years without two key players.
Big man Yousef Taha and big guard Joshua Torralba have both been sidelined due to injuries, team officials confirmed.
Taha has been ruled out with a fractured hand while Torralba has suffered a quadriceps contusion in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations.
The injuries leave the two unavailable for the quarterfinals, which begins on Sunday.
Team manager Johnson Martinez said Taha injured his hand during the game of the Bossing against Converge on Wednesday, while Torralba hurt his knee following a collision with Paul Varilla in the team’s encounter against NLEX.
Coach Ariel Vanguardia is still keeping his fingers crossed the 6-foot-8 Taha would be able to play in the quarterfinals that the team sought a second opinion on his injured hand.
“Hopefully, he (Taha) will be available,” said the Blackwater coach.
Taha leads the Bossing in rebounding with a 9.1 average in 10 games, while adding 7.7 points and 3.5 assists.
Torralba meanwhile, is out for six weeks with a leg injury, and has since been replaced in the lineup by Jollo Go, who was signed by Blackwater on Thursday for the rest of the season.
Also nursing an injury is veteran big man James Sena, who sprained his ankle in the team’s 92-90 loss to the FiberXers.
On the other news, Blackwater signed free agent Jollo Go as it makes one final push to enhance its seeding in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
Go was locked by the Bossing for the rest of the season, the 25-year-old guard signing the deal on Thursday in the presence of Blackwater team manager Johnson Martinez and deputy Jacob Munez.
The guard out of La Salle is the first call-up this season from the D League, where he plays for Marinerong Pilipino.
Go was a third-round pick by Converge in the last PBA draft but failed to reach a deal with the FiberXers.
Go takes over the spot of guard Joshua Torralba, who has been relegated to the injured/reserve list.
The entry of the former Ginebra 3×3 stalwart is also a timely one as the Bossing have had health issues with some of their key players, including Paul Desiderio, who is out for the entire season after going down with an ACL injury prior to the start of the all-Filipino conference.
Although already assured of its first playoff appearance in three years, Blackwater (5-5)has been on a four-game skid and is looking to make the quarterfinals on a winning note as it tackles Magnolia for its final elimination round assignment on Friday.