Jason Perkins injected the much-needed endgame fuel to prevent Phoenix Super LPG from gassing out against NorthPort, 108-97, to break through in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Thursday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The hefty bruiser led the way with 26 points and seven rebounds, sparking the key 8-0 run that restored the Fuel Masters’ control of the match after seeing their 27-point lead become just five, 92-87, with 7:13 left to play.
By keeping the Batang Pier winless in four games, the ball club has also given interim head coach Jamike Jarin his first win after a 0-3 start.
“I’m very happy for Coach Jamike,” said Perkins, who shot 55-percent from the field. “Coach Jamike is a very positive person, a very uplifting coach. Even if we lose, he doesn’t go out blaming players.
“When I come into practice sometimes after a loss, I’m very mad. And then Coach Jamike makes it a point for everyone to be positive, so after losses, we all just look to him,” added the 30-year-old forward.
Import Du’Vaughn Maxwell also finished with 26 points, alongside 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks in the victory.
RJ Jazul had 16 points, while Sean Manganti shined with 13 points as the two helped out Perkins in the aforementioned run by knocking a trey each — more than enough to suck the life out of the opposition.
“Siyempre ‘di ba it has to be a team effort for everybody. Starting from the utility to the assistant coaches, to management, and to the head coach, and the players — they’re the ones sacrificing every day,” Jarin said.
“I give credit to them. And it’s very hard, you know, especially that we’re missing Javee Mocon due to injury. We’re very happy with the performance of everybody, especially in this game with Sean Manganti,” he added.
Phoenix will try to make it two in a row when it takes on Jonathon Simmons and the 3-0 NLEX on Saturday, 4:30 p.m., at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Marcus Weathers, on the other hand, led NorthPort with 31 points — including 11 in the fourth — and nine rebounds in the loss.
Kent Salado finished with a career-high 15 points — the first time he’s scored in double figures — while Art Dela Cruz added 12 as the two led the Batang Pier’s spirited second-half rally that ultimately fell short.
Up next for NorthPort is reigning champions Barangay Ginebra next Friday, February 10, at 5:45 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Phoenix Super LPG 108 – Perkins 26, Maxwell 26, Jazul 15, Manganti 13, Tio 8, Garcia 6, Serrano 6, Muyang 2, Lojera 2, Lalata 2, Soyud 1, Adamos 0, Alejandro 0, Camacho 0, Go 0.
NorthPort 97 – Weathers 28, Salado 15, Dela Cruz 12, Munzon 8, Chan 7, Tolentino 6, Sumang 5, Balagasay 5, Calma 2, Zamar 2, Taha 2, Caperal 2, Ayaay 0.
Quarterscores: 23-25, 55-46, 86-71, 108-97.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.