After two overtime games, the Phoenix Fuel Masters finally earned a convincing win following their 108-98 dismembering of the Columbian Dyip in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, Wednesday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters are off to their best start in franchise history, having collected their third straight win. They are currently on top of the standings.
“Before the conference started, ‘di ko iniisip yung 3-0 kasi wala kaming panalo sa tune-ups eh,” said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas. “Hopefully madagdagan para makapondo na kami. ‘Di pa kami lumalaban dun sa mga heavyweights.”
Matthew Wright paced Phoenix with 22 points. Calvin Abueva almost notched a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds, along with three steals and three assists. Meanwhile, Jason Perkins had 14 markers and 11 caroms.
The Fuel Masters went off to a roaring 12-0 run to start the match. They would even go on to lead by as many as 19, 40-21, in the second quarter.
But the Dyip rallied back afterwards to give Phoenix a challenge. Back-to-back hits by rookie JP Calvo lifted Columbian to within just seven points, 83-90, approaching the seven-minute mark of the final quarter.
The Fuel Masters made it Dyip’s last gasp, however. With Abueva, Perkins, and LA Revilla joining hands, Phoenix erected a 104-90 lead with 2:40 left to play – more than enough to stop the Dyip in their tracks and bag the win.
Revilla finished with 12 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and a steal.
“Pattern na talaga sa amin ‘yung pag nagli-lead kami ng double figure, babalik kami sa old habit na magre-rely kami sa offensive firepower,” lamented the seasoned Alas. “Pero siguro bata pa sa ganoong situwasyon.”
Calvo led Columbian with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Jackson Corpuz and Eric Camson chimed in 13 markers apiece. Rookie CJ Perez had 10 markers, eight caroms, six assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Phoenix will look to make it four in a row when they face the Blackwater Elite on February 1, Friday. Meanwhile, Columbian will battle the NorthPort Batang Pier this Friday, January 25. Both games will be at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Phoenix 108 – Wright 22, Abueva 16, Perkins 14, Intal 13, Revilla 12, Kramer 8, Marcelo 7, Jazul 6, Chua 4, Mendoza 2, Napoles 2, Dennison 2, Mallari 0.
Columbian 98 – Calvo 18, Camson 13, Corpuz 13, McCarthy 10, Perez 10, Reyes 9, Celda 9, Escoto 8, Khobuntin 6, Agovida 2, Cahilig 0, Cabrera 0, Tabi 0.
Quarterscores: 24-14, 53-47, 82-72, 108-98.