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Tiebreaker Times


PBA: Maxwell victorious in debut as Phoenix snaps skid at Alaska’s expense

Du’vaughn Maxwell wasted no time proving his worth as Phoenix Super LPG weathered Alaska, 104-99, to snap out of its three-game funk in the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup, Thursday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The 30-year-old notched a double-double of 21 points and 21 rebounds, and was big in the endgame as he made the and-one play with 20.5 seconds left to stop the Aces, who rallied from 14 down early in the fourth.

Brought in to replace Dominique Sutton, Maxwell shot 60-percent from the floor and also collected three assists and two blocks in 42 minutes.

“He brought so much energy to us,” lauded head coach Topex Robinson. “I think what he brought to us was solid defense on the paint. He’s making smart moves defensively; down the stretch, he was making shots.”

Matthew Wright top-scored for the Fuel Masters with 26 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds in the victory, which hiked their record to 5-5 and, more importantly, kept their quarterfinal bid very much alive.

Jason Perkins delivered 22 points, as veteran point guard RJ Jazul supplied 21 markers on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

The two were crucial in warding off the opposition. As the Aces took a 93-92 lead after trailing 76-90 about two minutes into the final period, Perkins nailed a big triple to put Phoenix ahead, 95-93, with 5:19 remaining.

And after Maxwell made that and-one play, Jazul would go on to prevent the other team from setting up a play by stealing the ball. Alaska sent him to the line, where he split his freebies to settle the final count.

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“We know how important this game is for us, and we also know that Alaska is on a run. And we respect that team so much, and again, we just have to make sure that we play it all out,” said Robinson.

The game, though, was without controversy. Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso refused to shake Robinson’s hand as he’s apparently mad with his decision to call for a timeout with 3.5 seconds left, with the game all but settled.

“I made a decision to call a timeout, because again, that’s on the backcourt. And we’re still up by five, we wanna make sure that we don’t commit a turnover,” explained the young bench tactician.

“I respect that team, I know their capabilities, and I just don’t wanna be a victim to another bad decision. And again, I’ll be responsible for that. It’s something that I have to make as a coach, and I’ll be responsible for that call,” he continued.

Phoenix will wrap up its elimination round campaign against Meralco on March 11, Friday, 3:00 p.m., still at the Big Dome.

Olu Ashaolu led Alaska with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the loss, which dropped its record to 6-4.

Robbie Herndon had 17 points on five triples. Mike DiGregorio made 13 points, while Jeron Teng and Maverick Ahanmisi added 12 each.

The Aces will face the league-leading Magnolia (8-1) for their final eliminations assignment this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. also in Araneta.

The Scores:

Phoenix Super LPG 104 – Wright 26, Perkins 22, Jazul 21, Maxwell 21, Porter 6, Manganti 5, Melecio 3, Rios 0, Robles 0, Demusis 0, Pascual 0, Garcia 0.

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Alaska 99 – Ashaolu 24, Herndon 17, DiGregorio 13, Ahanmisi 12, Teng 12, Taha 10, Tratter 7, Racal 2, Bulanadi 2, Faundo 0, Ilagan 0, Stockton 0.

Quarterscores: 31-20, 48-47, 81-74, 104-99.

All PBA games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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