Phoenix breaks a two-game losing streak by adopting the next man up philosophy

Feb 26, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – At the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Phoenix overcame the removal of import Du’Vaughn Maxwell to secure a 125 to 100 rout of Terrafirma.

At the 6:32 mark of the third quarter, Maxwell, who had been leading the Fuel Masters to a 23-point advantage, was removed due to a foul call penalty on a landed spot infraction that followed an earlier technical foul.

As the Fuel Masters snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 2 to 5 overall, tying the struggling Dyip, he ended with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.

Following the expulsion of their import, Phoenix’s natives, led by Jason Perkins (14), Javee Mocon (13), Encho Serrano (12), RR Garcia (11) and Sean Manganti (10) stepped up to the plate and carried Phoenix to the finish line.

“It was terrible that he got sent out, but what he accomplished in the first half certainly helped us have that advantage,” said Jarin of Maxwell, who gave them an early 47 to 32 lead following an 11-0 run late in the second stanza.

Everyone stepped up after they lost him inside the third because that is always our mentality: “next man up,” and as a result, we won after 48 minutes.

Maxwell improved on his poor 11-point performance in Phoenix’s 108 to 95 loss to Magnolia the previous time, despite having an incomplete game.

Jarin added, “He is a winner and he truly does the dirty work – rebounds, altering shots, playing defense, the stuff you do not see on the score sheet.

We told him to contribute more after the previous game, and he did so well today. I have no doubt that he will perform much, much better inside the upcoming contests.

The Fuel Masters’ campaign for the playoffs is boosted by Mocon’s return to competition following a knee treatment to remove bone spurs. (OL)

While Javee Mocon can play many positions, Jarin remarked, “That’s wonderful news for us. For now, we’re flexible with his comeback.”

“Play form was a little shaky at first, but in the second quarter, we must have seen the Javee Mocon we’re used to watching. And that he’s going to continue to improve as he gets his confidence back,” a sports analyst said.

Terrafirma lost for the third time in a row as Juami Tiongson claimed the scoring lead with 27 points while replacement Jordan Williams struggled with 14.

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