SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – Phoenix Super LPG leaned on its 1-2 punch of Matthew Wright and Calvin Abueva to beat Terrafirma, 116-94, in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Tuesday at the SMART 5G-powered AUF Sports and Cultural Center.
The Fil-Canadian sniper exploded for 33 points as he shot 6-of-12 from deep, while the 6-foot-2 forward collected a triple-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Fuel Masters improved to 5-3 to move near the quarters.
Wright, the league’s leading scorer, made 16 of his output in the second frame as he caught fire to help his side overcome a sluggish start — which saw them trail 9-20 — and take a 59-55 lead at the end of the first half.
Abueva then spearheaded the assault come the next half, joining hands with the frontline duo of Justin Chua and Jason Perkins as well as veteran guard RJ Jazul to establish an 86-66 lead late in the third quarter.
Never did the Fuel Masters face any backlash from the younger Dyip from then on, and a 12-2 run punctuated by a Wright three-pointer hiked their lead to as high as 29 points, 112-83, with less than five minutes to play.
“We always talk about being the best versions of ourselves. Having all of those guys buying into that word means so much to us, as a program, as a company, as a culture,” said newly-appointed head coach Topex Robinson.
“Being your best doesn’t mean you’re going to score the points. You’ll notice at the stats that guys were just sharing that basketball, and again whoever gets the best shot, we’ll always celebrate that.”
Jazul shot 4-of-7 from three to finish with 16 markers. Perkins and stocky guard Brian Heruela each produced 14 points, as Chua produced 10 markers along with five rebounds and two blocks.
Phoenix shot 51 percent from the field in the victory, and that’s largely thanks to the good looks the Fuel Masters got on the floor for moving the ball well that ultimately led to them racking up 33 assists,
“We always preach about service. We always talk about how you’re going to make your teammate look good. It’s always about one more pass. We always make sure that we just don’t do it in practice, we do it in the game,” Robinson said.
CJ Perez led Terrafirma with 32 points, nine rebounds, and five assists as the Dyip remain the only winless team in the bubble. They fell to 0-6 and will need to sweep its next five games for a shot at the next round.
Phoenix Super LPG and Terrafirma will play their next games in Thursday, Nov. 5. The Fuel Masters will face reigning, five-time champs San Miguel at 6:45 p.m., as the Dyip opens the triple-header affair versus Magnolia at 1:00 p.m
Phoenix (116) — Wright 33, Jazul 16, Heruela 14, Perkins 14, Abueva 12, Chua 10, Intal 4, Mallari 6, Garcia 3, Rios 2, Napoles 2, Marcelo 0.
Terra Firma (94) — Perez 32, Tiongson 15, Camson 11, Ramos 9, Adams 6, Gabayni 5, Balagasay 4, Cahilig 4, McCarthy 3, Batiller 3, Celda 2, Agovida 0, Khobuntin 0, Calvo 0, Faundo
Quarterscores: 23-26; 59-55; 86-71; 116-94.