Phoenix Super LPG added Meralco to its list of casualties, 89-82, for a hat trick of wins in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena.
Kaleb Wesson led the way with 23 points and 13 rebounds, coming up big in the second half that saw him lead a 29-point third-quarter barrage before striking the dagger to ward off the Bolts’ comeback attempt in the final moments.
“It’s great going to .500, getting three straight wins,” expressed the 23-year-old American as the Fuel Masters collected their third consecutive victory after suffering three straight losses to open the mid-season conference.
The young guns did their part as well, with Tyler TIo and Encho Serrano finishing with 14 points apiece. RJ Jazul produced 12 points, while Javee Mocon chipped in 10 markers on top of his six rebounds and four assists.
All the aforementioned came through for Phoenix’s second-half surge, which saw them lead by as many as 19, 82-63, with 9:13 to go in the fourth quarter.
But Meralco came alive later on, managing to cut the deficit to just seven, 87-80, following a triple from Aaron Black with less than three minutes remaining.
The Bolts, however, could no longer find the mark to come any closer, and Wesson was there to make them pay by nailing the baseline jumper against counterpart Johnny O’Bryant to make it 89-80 with 1:38 left.
“It’s a testament to what we’re doing as a group — helping each other out. Winning is a byproduct of what we’re doing,” said coach Topex Robinson.
Phoenix will look to make it four straight against Rain or Shine next Wednesday, October 26, at 3 p.m., at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Bong Quinto, on the other hand, led Meralco with 22 points and six rebounds in the defeat that saw O’Bryant score just seven points.
Still reeling from the absences of Chris Newsome and Chris Banchero, the Bolts (1-4) will look to arrest their two-game skid against the Elasto Painters as well on Saturday, October 22, 6:45 p.m. still at Philsports.
Phoenix Super LPG 89 – Wesson 23, Tio 14, Serrano 14, Jazul 12, Mocon 10, Anthony 6, Robles 2, Lojera 2, Lalata 2, Garcia 2, Adamos 2, Camacho 0, Muyang 0, Rios 0, Pascual 0.
Merlaco 82 – Quinto 22, Black 14, Maliksi 13, Hodge 7, O’Bryant 7, Almazan 6, Caram 6, Pasaol 5, Jose 2, Pascual 0, Hugnatan 0.
Quarterscores: 24-22, 47-38, 76-63, 89-82
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.