The Phoenix Petroleum-FEU Accelerators bucked off a slow start and eventually turn the game into a rout against the UP-QRS/Jam Liner Maroons, 98-84, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Just like in their game against the AMA Online Education Titans, the Accelerators got off to another slow start falling by as much as 12 points, 14-2, in the opening quarter of the game. Raymond Aguilar feasted on the lackadaisical Phoenix defense in scoring seven early points, four coming from the charity stripe.
After a quick timeout by Eric Gonzales, FEU stalwarts Mac Belo and Al Francis Tamsi combined for 13 points to cut the Jam Liner lead to just five, 26-21, at the end of the first quarter.
“Tambak na naman kami kanina. We were started slow. Petiks na naman kanina kaya I called that early timeout,” Gonzales shared regarding his team’s slow start. “Sabi ko, ‘we were given that chance against AMA to bounce back. This time around we will have a problem.’ Buti na lang nagrespond sila.”
The Accelerators then went on a 13-0 rally to start the second quarter and never looked back. RR Pogooy instigated the rally in slashing through the lanes while big men Raymar Jose and Russel Escoto pounded the paint in a 34 point second quarter outing that gave Phoenix a huge 16 point lead by halftime, 55-39.
Former Growling Tiger Ed Daquioag played heavy minutes during the final two quarters, eventually ending up with 16 points in 26 minutes of game time but was just 5/13 from the field and committed seven turnovers. “On our team, we are waiting for Ed (Daquioag) to gel. That’s why we’re giving him more minutes,” Gonzales said about Daquioag.
Together with Daquioag, Mike Tolomia continued to the Phoenix rally in scoring seven points in the third canto to extend their lead to a game-high 24 points, 65-41, midway through the third canto. The Maroons though had one last run in them during the final frame.
Utilizing a line-up that did not feature any UP Fighting Maroon player, Aguilar and Juneric Baloria combined for 22 fourth quarter points to cut the lead to 11, 85-74, with 5:40 left in the game. Belo and Daquioag though went on a scoring spree to stop the Jam Liner momentum while Raymar Jose continued to pound the boards to give Phoenix their third straight win, 98-84.
“It’s nothing,” said Phoenix head coach Eric Gonzales about the team’s 3-0 start. “After the game against AMA, we reminded the players that they should not be complacent. Nag-champion kami sa UAAP but this is a different league. We must respect every opponent whether it be blue, whether it be red, whether it be green.”
Mac Belo was again the high point man for Phoenix with 20 points on 7/11 shooting. He was able to knockdown two triples, grab seven boards, and swat away two block shots. Outside of Belo and Daquioag, three other Accelerators scored in double-figures with Tolomia scoring 14 and Pogoy and Tamsi scoring ten apiece.
For the Maroons, Raymon Aguilar led all scorers with 28 points and grabbing ten boards. Junerice Baloria added 12 points, all in the fourth quarter, and grabbing ten boards as well.
Phoenix face the Caida Tile Masters on Monday, February 15 at 4:00pm. On the other hand, the UP-QRS/Jam Liner Maroons look to stop their funk against the Mindanao Aguilas in the first game of that day.
Phoenix-FEU (98) – Belo 20, Daquioag 16, Tolomia 14, Pogoy 10, Tamsi 10, Jose 9, Escoto Ru. 8, Inigo 7, Elmejrab 1, Mendoza 0.
UP-QRS/Jam Liner (84) – Aguilar 28, Baloria 12, Ferrer 9, Dario 8, Batino 7, Soyud 5, Desiderio 4, Moralde 4, Sorela 4, Alolino 3, Neypes 0.
Quarterscores: 21-26, 55-39, 79-56, 98-84.