Debuting Phoenix Pulse survived Blackwater’s late rally, 103-98, to spoil the latter’s bid in extending their unbeaten run to four in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Friday evening at SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
The Fuel Masters saw their 19-point lead become just two, 100-98, with only 11 seconds left. Still, luck was on their side, as RJ Jazul’s split – plus the Elite’s failure to set up a shot with four ticks left – were enough to give them the win.
“Expected naman (na hahabol sila) kasi sabi ko nga ‘di naman sila 3-0 for nothing. Tinrabaho nila yun. Hindi tsamba yung ginagawa nila,” said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas. “Good thing nalagpasan namin first test namin.”
Five Fuel Masters scored in twin digits, with Matthew Wright on top with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Rob Dozier seems to have readjusted in his return to the PBA, as he shot just 7-for-19 from the field and committed five turnovers. Still, the former Best Import filled the stat sheet with 18 points, 16 boards, four blocks, and three dimes.
Jazul finished with 17 points and eight assists in the win, while Jason Perkins produced 16 points and five rebounds. Calvin Abueva fouled out with 11 ticks left, but still made 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Rookie Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. had 25 points and seven rebounds to lead Blackwater, who has now fallen to 3-1.
Alex Stepheson supplied 24 points and 18 rebounds in the defeat. Mac Belo produced 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists, as Roi Sumang chimed in 10 markers on top of three steals, two caroms, and two feeds.
Both Phoenix and Blackwater will play their respective games this Sunday, June 2, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. The Elite will take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 4:30 PM, while the Fuel Masters will go up against the TNT KaTropa at 6:45.
Phoenix 103 – Wright 22, Dozier 18, Jazul 17, Perkins 16, Abueva 13, Mallari 8, Chua 7, Kramer 2, Revilla 0, Intal 0, Marcelo 0, Wilson 0.
Blackwater 98 – Parks 25, Stepheson 24, Belo 12, Sumang 10, Tratter 7, Maliksi 6, Al-Hussaini 6, Digregorio 4, Cortez 2, Alolino 2, Salem 0.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 41-41, 80-71, 103-98.