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PBA: Tuffin, Phoenix deal Converge heartbreaker, remain solo 2nd


Phoenix Super LPG showed endgame resilience to survive the win-hungry Converge, 99-98, to collect its fourth win in a row in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Saturday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Ken Tuffin nailed the go-ahead bucket off a Jason Perkins find with 10.4 seconds left to play, and the Fuel Masters would step up on D on the other end to prevent Aljun Melecio from having a decent look as time expired.

“There were options on that play. But one of the options there was Ken, if there was no pass. Good thing, Perk (Jason Perkins) saw it,” said head coach Jamike Jarin.

Johnathan Williams led the way anew with 27 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists as the crew remained at no. 2 in the standings with a 5-1 card.

Perkins finished with 20 points and seven rebounds while rookie Ricci Rivero provided the spark off the bench with 12 points and three boards.

Phoenix will have a week-long break before facing Ginebra next Saturday, December 2, in San Jose, Batangas in another PBA out-of-town special.

Tom Vodanovich, on the other hand, finished with 35 points and nine rebounds for Converge, which fell to its fifth loss in as many games.

Vodanovich was the one who gave the FiberXers the 98-97 lead following a cleanup job on Melecio’s missed attempt from deep.

It was a sigh of relief in some way for the diminutive Melecio, who earlier missed three crucial free throws that could’ve erased a 95-93 deficit with 1:44 to go.

But Phoenix was just steadier, and his attempt for redemption didn’t pan out the way he wanted as his potential game-winning jumper — which he took from the baseline and against the defense of Tio — missed.

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Deschon Winston had 15 points. Bryan Santos made 11 points while Jerrick Balanza and Justin Arana supplied 10 points apiece in the loss.

Converge (0-5) will try to break the curse against the 3-2 NorthPort on December 6, Wednesday, 4 p.m. still at Philsports.

The Scores:

Phoenix Super LPG 99 Williams 27, Perkins 20, Rivero 12, Tio 7, Mocon 9, Tuffin 8, Alejandro 6, Manganti 5, Garcia 3, Jazul 2, Soyud 0, Daves 0, Verano 0, Camacho 0.

Converge 98 – Vodanovich 35, Winston 15, Santos 11, Balanza 10, Arana 10, Racal 9, Ambohot 3, Tallo 3, Caralipio 2, Melecio 0, Fornilos 0, Wong 0.

Quarterscores: 27-27, 47-48, 70-70, 99-98.

Written By

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


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