Phoenix soars high, passing Terrafirma Dyip on Friday June 17 at the hilltop, Ynares Center, Antipolo City. The Fuelmasters smothered Terrafirma in the first half before sealing them off in the end for a 97-74 win.
Led by Jason Perkins, Phoenix banks on a balanced attack to clobber Terrafirma and barge into the winning column after a 2-0 start.
Perkins posted all around numbers of 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in a balanced scoring attack.
Dropping 28 points in a loss to Meralco, Perkins did not need to carry the scoring cudgels, with four of his teammates scoring in double figures.
Matthew Wright churned out 11 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and four steals, Javee Mocon produced 10 points and 10 rebounds, while RJ Jazul and Encho Serrano put up 10 points each.
In the battle pitting the two remaining winless squads entering the day, the Fuel Masters stifled the Dyip in the first 24 minutes, holding them to just 24 points even as they started the third quarter on a 15-0 run to open the largest lead not just of the game but also of the season at 35, 59-24.
Terrafirma got its offense later in the game and cut the lead down to 14, 77-63, with 5:56 left in the fourth quarter, but Phoenix recovered just in time to seal the blowout.
Coach Topex Robinson, however, revealed that Perkins was playing with his morale not at 100 percent after finding out about something that happened in his family.
“There’s just an emergency in his family in the [United] States, and it happened before the game. He asked me if it is OK for him to leave right after the game because he is going through a lot right now. We just hope and pray that it will be OK,” Robinson said.
In his long-awaited Phoenix debut, Sean Anthony chipped in 9 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.
“Having Sean back is a bright spot for us,” Robinson said of Anthony, who made a PBA return after recovering from a foot surgery to fix bone spurs.
“Having that kind of guy who kinda gets everybody together,” Robinson added. “His leadership is so important to us, so that’s something we are excited about.”
Joseph Gabayni made 16 points, nine boards, four dimes, and one block off the bench for Dyip, which crashed to the bottom of the standings at 0-3. Aldrech Ramos and Andreas Cahilig had 14 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.
• Phoenix 97 – Perkins 17, Wright 11, Serrano 10, Jazul 10, Mocon 10, Anthony 9, Melecio 8, Tio 8, Porter 5, Lalata 5, Garcia 4, Muyang 0, Rios 0.
• Terrafirma 74 – Gabayni 16, Ramos 14, Calvo 9, Tiongson 9, Munzon 6, Gomez de Liano 5, Mina 3, Balagasay 2, Grospe 0, Tumalip 0, Enriquez 0.
18-14, 44-24, 71-46, 97-74.