Four players will be competing for Phoenix's last two roster spots starting Thursday in the team's return to scrimmages in Batangas City.
Coach Topex Robinson said the Fuel Masters will evaluate free agents Michael Calisaan and Bryan Faundo, as well as 46th PBA Season Draft selections Reymar Caduyac and Jerie Pingoy, over the next few weeks to determine who will make the cut.
"We are still looking at Caduyac, Pingoy, Calisaan and Faundo to complete our roster," he shared. "We will only get two to fill out our team. Other than that, we pretty much are OK in other positions."
Calisaan, 26, is a familiar face for Robinson, who handled the 6-foot-4 forward in his last year as the head coach of San Sebastian in the NCAA.
Drafted by Magnolia with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 Draft, Calisaan played for two seasons with the Hotshots but had a difficult time seeing the floor, averaging 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in just 5.6 minutes of action in 16 games.
Faundo, on the other hand, found himself without a home after failing to get a contract offer from Blackwater in the offseason. The 37-year-old center was part of the trade that saw Meralco send him and Baser Amer to the Bossing in exchange for Mac Belo last February.
In his last season with the Bolts, Faundo logged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game in the 2020 Philippine Cup.
"It's really more about getting the right character guys," said Robinson.
The two veterans will be appraised alongside rookies Caduyac and Pingoy.
The 5-foot-9 Caduyac was one of Robinson's players in Lyceum and was selected by the Fuel Masters at No. 34 in the draft. Pingoy, meanwhile, was taken at No. 52 following a well-documented collegiate career with Ateneo and Adamson in the UAAP.
Team manager Paolo Bugia said Phoenix will take its time deciding who to sign among the four men.
"Most probably we'll sign them towards June as we want to maximize these next weeks to assess them," he said.
Elsewhere, Robinson said Phoenix is basically all good to go.
The team, which compensated for the loss of Calvin Abueva by landing Vic Manuel and Chris Banchero in separate deals, have also signed rookies Larry Muyang, Nick Demusis and Aljun Melecio in recent months.
Banchero, however, will not be able to join Phoenix yet when the team returns to practices.
"Everyone is healthy. Except for Chris Banchero, who is still in the States, we are complete," said Robinson. "Our main priority now is to get them physically ready for the possible season opening next month."