MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix Super LPG roared on and pulled off a major upset with a 101 to 93 victory over Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum following a game-changing victory over NLEX the previous time out.
Import Kaleb Wesson, seasoned pros Sean Anthony, RJ Jazul, and Jvee Mocon, as well as young guns Tyler Tio and Encho Serrano put in a commendable effort collectively, preventing Ginebra from winning three games in a row following heroic victories over Meralco and the Bay Area Dragons.
The Fuel Masters squashed the Kings in the same manner they defeated the Road Warriors in a previous match ending in a 111 to 97 victory.
The high profile Ginebra locals and Justin Brownlee did not intimidate the Fuel Masters, who kept an eye on one another.
It all comes down to trust, according to Phoenix coach Topex Robinson. “We’re trying to establish an environment in our team where mistakes are accepted. It gives players confidence, like Encho Serrano. They’re playing their hearts out.”
For the Fuel Masters, who are suddenly on a run after losing their first three games against NorthPort, Blackwater, and the Bay Area Dragons, Mocon scored a team-high 20 points, Tyler Tio added 17, Serrano added 16, and Wesson and Anthony each had double-double performances with 15 points and 17 rebounds.
Tio, a former Ateneo standout making his mark early in the pros, nearly missed a double-double as he also earned seven assists and one rebound against two errors in 38 minutes of play.
Tio stated, “Like I said in the last game, it comes from the confidence coach Topex is giving me. And it’s not just the coaching staff but also the veterans. The key is opportunity, which Coach Topex is providing for me, and I want to earn back his confidence.
In addition to Brownlee’s 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, Stanley Pringle led all scorers with 25 points for the Gin Kings, who initially held a commanding lead but collapsed when it mattered most.
The Fuel Masters recovered from a slow start to keep the score close at the break before taking over, 96 to 86, on a crucial run that began the fourth.
All nine of the Fuel Masters’ initial field-goal tries were unsuccessful, which was a poor start.
Scores at the end of the match
Phoenix Fuel Masters with 101 points for the win
Individual Scores: Mocon 20, Tio 17, Serrano 16, Anthony 14, Jazul 7, Manganti 5, Garcia 3, Pascual 2, Lojera 2, Camacho 0, Muyang 0, Lalata 0
Ginebra with 93 points
Individual Scores: Pringle 25, Brownlee 23, Malonzo 13, Thompson 11, J. Aguilar 7, Tenorio 7, Standhardinger 6, Gray 1, and Mariano 0
Scores per quarter
16 to 23, 45 to 48, 74 to 77, and 101 to 93