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PBA: Phoenix rises

Christian Standhardinger
Standhardinger: Double-double for NorthPort. PBA photo

PHOENIX Super LPG made it two wins in a row by beating NorthPort, 110-105, in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup restart at the Angeles University Sports Arena and Cultural Center.

Jason Perkins fired 31 points, including two pressure-packed free throws with 12 seconds left, as the Fuel Masters escaped with a morale-boosting victory over the undermanned but hard-fighting Batang Pier.

Matthew Wright added 23 points and Justin Chua contributed 17 points for the Fuel Masters, who buried the Batang Pier with an avalanche of three-point shots.

Phoenix nailed 17 three-pointers, including three straight by Jansen Rios and Chua that gave Phoenix a 101-94 advantage from an 88-all deadlock.

Still, the Batang Pier refused to go away.

Kevin Ferrer hit his own triple and Christian Standhardinger added a short jumper to make it 99-103 with still 1:28 remaining.

But after a turnover by Ferrer, Wright hit a dagger 3 to make it 106-99 with under a minute left.

Standhardinger led Batang Pier with another double-double of 28 points and 11 rebounds in 38 minutes. Sean Anthony and Ferrer added 23 and 14 points, respectively.

“As I’ve said coming here, we just wanted to be the best version of ourselves. We can be 2-0 or 0-2 right now, but it doesn’t matter.

We’re not yet a team but just a group of individuals with good basketball talent,” said Phoenix coach Topex Robinson.

The Batang Pier took the lead at 86-85 following a triple by Garvo Lanete with 8:32 left but Perkins answered back to make it 88-86 again for the Fuel Masters.

The score was again tied at 88-all following a jump shot by Lanete with 7:46 left before Phoenix scored seven unaswered points to take a 95-88 lead.

NorthPort went down to its second straight defeat in bubble play.

What hurt NorthPort’s chances was Standhardinger’s disastrous 6-of-16 free throw shooting and Anthony’s 12-of-17.

Overall, the Batang Pier went 25-of-42 from the free throw line or only 59 percent.

Phoenix, on the other hand, had 21-of-28 for 75 percent.

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine sets out as the prohibitive favorite when it tangles with TerraFirma on Friday.

Game time is 4 p.m. with the E-Painters seeking a follow-up to their inspiring 87-83 win over reigning five-time all-Filipino champion San Miguel Beer.

Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon are again expected to lead the Caloy Garcia-mentored E-Painters.

The Dyip are hoping to bounce back from a 101-112 setback to Talk N Text last Tuesday.

In the second game, San Miguel tests the mettle of Talk N Text at 6:45 p.m.

The scores:

Phoenix (110) – Perkins 31, Wright 23, Chua 17, Jazul 10, Heruela 9, Rios 8, Intal 5, Napoles 4, Marcelo 3, Garcia 0, Reyes 0.
NorthPort (105) — Standhardinger 28, Anthony 23, Lanete 17, Ferrer 14, Taha 7, Nabong 6, Elorde 4, Cruz 2, Guinto 2, Revilla 2, Subido 0. Quarterscores: 23-23, 55-51, 83-77, 110-105.

Games Friday:
(AUF Sports Arena)
4 p.m. — TerraFirma vs Rain or Shine
6:45 p.m. — San Miguel vs Talk N Text