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Williams drives Phoenix past Terrafirma in a surge

Nov 30, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – In the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, Phoenix Super LPG maintained its dominance over Terrafirma with a 103-84 victory powered by Jonathan Williams and his homegrown teammates.

Williams scored a game-high 29 points and was a key player in the Fuel Masters’ dramatic second-quarter run that gave them complete control of the game. From there, they linked up with players like RJ Jazul and Ricci Rivero to push the lead to 91-61.

Phoenix’s 4-1 record after the victory, which was its third in a row and its fourth in as many meetings with Terrafirma since the previous season, tied the team’s best five-game start in a league full of imports. Coach Jamike Jarin praised Williams much for gaining the lead.

“The team is playing exceptionally selfless basketball, and a significant factor is the individual on my left,” Jarin said, indicating Williams, at the news conference following the game.

He also praised Williams, saying, “Jonathan Williams is performing remarkably well. He’s displaying a selfless style of play and also providing leadership to the team. A considerable amount of credit has to be given to J3 here.”

Jarin highlighted the teamwork by saying, “Everybody is contributing in their own way, whether it’s screening, rebounding, or running—the little things that may not show up in the stats. It’s a collective effort on both ends of the court, both offensively and defensively.”

In addition to his 13 rebounds and four assists, Williams—a former LA Laker—refused to claim all the credit for his win, saying, “My teammates found me earlier, and when they chased me down the post, I found my teammates.”

Phoenix is now in second place, one game behind the undefeated Magnolia, and may easily finish among the top eight teams who move on to the quarterfinals following the 11-game elimination round. Jarin, meanwhile, is wary of projecting too far ahead, saying, “We’re happy right now, but we cannot go to the playoffs on four wins.”

Along with Williams, RJ Jazul added 13 points, and Tyler Tio and Jason Perkins also had at least 10 points apiece for Phoenix. With the exception of two, all 14 players that Jarin fielded scored for the squad.

The defeat became Terrafirma’s second consecutive loss, sending it to a 2-3 record. The outcome began to take shape when Phoenix launched an 18-0 run that forced Terrafirma from a 25-21 advantage into a 43-21 lead.

Even with Juami Tiongson’s flu-like fever and Thomas de Thaey’s return from a groin injury, Dyip could not overcome the Belgian’s 18 points and game-high 14 rebounds.

However, Tiongson only made 4 of 14 field goals, enough for 10 points. Stephen Holt, on the other hand, had a worse shooting percentage, missing his first seven shots and finishing with just 2 points on a 1 of 12 clip. There were eight rebounds and five assists from the first overall pick in the rookie draft.

Ed Daquioag and Javi Gomez de Liano scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, after coming off the bench.

Scores at the end of the match

Phoenix with 103 points

Individual scores: Williams 29, Jazul 13, Perkins 11, Tio 10, Rivero 10, Tuffin 8, Verano 7, Soyud 6, Lalata 4, Camacho 3, Garcia 2, Daves 0, Alejandro 0, Manganti 0.

Terrafirma with 84 points

Individual scores: De Thaey 18, Gomez de Liano 13, Daquioag 12, Tiongson 10, Carino 9, Cahilig 7, Miller 6, Go 3, Holt 2, Ramos 2, Alolino 2, Olivario 0, Calvo 0, Camson 0.

Scores per quarter:

23-19, 48-32, 78-55, 103-84.

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