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Kramer welcome addition to Phoenix in playoffs push

12:38 AM January 28, 2017

phoenix fuel masters

No thanks to a technicality, Doug Kramer’s debut with Phoenix got postponed for at least a week.

Coach Ariel Vanguardia shared that the 6-foot-5 slotman was supposed to play in the Fuel Masters’ 106-85 loss to Alaska on Friday.

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“It’s pity. We put Doug Kramer in the lineup but it was past 1 p.m. when the PBA received our e-mail,” he said. “He could’ve helped because our bigs were in foul trouble, but we didn’t make the deadline. It was a miscommunication with our liaison officer.”

PBA rules state that teams which wishes to activate their players must submit their letter by 1 p.m. a day prior to their next scheduled game.

Kramer, 33, has been inactive since his heart ailment last October. He was traded from GlobalPort to Phoenix in the offseason.

Though disappointed with the turn of events, Vanguardia is looking forward to having Kramer fortify his frontcourt rotation.

“Doug is already cleared to play. He’s probably 80-percent on his conditioning. He could be a welcome addition in the playoffs,” he said.

The Fuel Masters are still waiting for their fate to be decided as they sit idle at 6-5, good for fourth in the standings.

Vanguardia rued the missed opportunity for his side to move as high as second with the loss to the Aces, but would rather focus on the upcoming playoffs where stakes are higher.

“It’s a missed opportunity, but we’re still 4-2 in our last six games which was our target. We just don’t know now where we’re going to land, but there’s another opportunity ahead. Everybody now is 0-0 going to the playoffs. Whoever we face, whether they have a twice-to-beat or it’s a best-of-3, we don’t know yet but we have a week to prepare. There’s a lot to be thankful for but this is part of growing up, games like this,” he said.

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“Now we have to pray, but at least we’re still not going to Boracay, right?,” Vanguardia continued. “We have plenty to be thankful for. We’re practicing on Sunday then wait until the eliminations end.”

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