Who will guard June Mar Fajardo in Yousef Taha’s absence?

Aug 1, 2022

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Blackwater has ruled big man Yousef Taha out of the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs. The 6-foot-8 Taha dislocated two fingers on his right hand, which was wrapped in a protective gear during the Bossing’s last game in the eliminations against Magnolia.

“He’s out na. We had our second opinion (on the injury),” said coach Ariel Vanguardia.

“He’s out for six to eight weeks, so next conference na siya.”

Taha sustained the injury in the game against Converge, which kept him out for the entire second half of the closely fought game, which Blackwater lost, 92-90.

The absence of Taha leaves the Bossing without their starting center and one big man less when they battle June Mar Fajardo and the top seeded San Miguel Beermen in their quarterfinals match up on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Taha along with rookie Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser took turns guarding the 6-foot-10 Fajardo in the middle as the Bossing battled the Beermen on even terms the first time they met in a game that San Miguel won in overtime, 110-107.

Nevertheless, despite Taha sitting out the game, Vanguardia still likes his team’s chances against the mighty Beermen, who have a twice-to-beat advantage against the Bossing as the top seeded team.

“Baka sakaling maisahan namin sila. The pressure is on them. We’re playing without pressure (on Wednesday),” said Vanguardia.

This marks the first playoffs appearance for Blackwater in three seasons.

“Kami, we’re just going to enjoy the game, work on our game plan. And if we can execute it well, maybe we deserve another game,” he said.

“Hindi pa tapos ang laban.”

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