PHOENIX Super LPG rallied from the depth of a 16-point deficit to eke out a 100-95 win over Blackwater and boost its chances for a Top Four berth in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Center in Pampanga.
Jason Perkins, Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright and Brian Heruela provided the much-needed baskets as the Fuel Masters erased a 34-50 deficit early in the third quarter to vault into a share of the top spot with Barangay Ginebra and Talk N Text with their seventh win in 10 matches.
More importantly, the Fuel Masters moved in position to grab one of four twice-to-beat berths with a victory over Rain or Shine on Wednesday.
Perkins and Abueva struck hardest during a decisive 21-4 run that turned the game around for Phoenix.
Wright nailed a three-pointshot from the left corner to put the Fuel Masters ahead, 55-54, halfway through the third period.
Perkins finished with a team-high 18 points and 12 rebounds, Abueva added 17 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two blocks, Wright contributed 17 points and Heruela had 15 points and seven rebounds for Phoenix.
Justin Chua also stepped up big for Phoenix with seven points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
Overall, Phoenix outrebounded Blackwater, 67-46.
“We have to be the best version of ourselves. These games will only make us grow since we’re still a young team. We have so much more to learn, especially with this kind of experience against Blackwater,” said Phoenix coach Topex Robinson.
“Right now, we have no control over the other teams, what teams will do, what teams will prepare for, but we have a hundred percent control on how we will play,” added Robinson.
KG Canaleta topscored for Blackwater with 21 points, including 5-for-7 shooting from rainbow territory.
Mac Belo added 17 points and eight rebounds, Don Trollano had 13 and eight and Richard Escoto had 11 for the elite, who fell to 2-8 overall.
Although already out of the running, Blackwater kept the fight until the end.
Canaleta’s jumpshot even made it a four-point game, 87-91 with still a minute and a half remaining.
But Perkins nailed a wide open three-pointer to push the lead back to seven, 94-87.
Mike Tolomia again made it close at 93-97 with a lay-up with 18 seconds left before Wright added a free throw.
Later, Maverick Ahanmisi came through with 25 points and 12 rebounds as Alaska Milk held off NLEX, 122-119, in overtime to finish with a 7-4 record.
Jvee Casio ably supported Ahanmisi with 19 points, five rebounds and three steals for the Aces.
The Aces’ hard-earned win also towed San Miguel, Meralco, and Magnolia into the playoffs and virtually eliminated NLEX.
The loss also spoiled the solid 30-point effort of Kiefer Ravena for NLEX.
Ravena scored nine points in the final two minutes of regulation. He also kept the Road Warriors within striking distance in the extra period, driving to the hoop and drawing the last foul of Ahanmisi.
JR Quiñahan added 24 points, nine rebounds, and five assists and Kevin Alas had 13 points and seven assists in NLEX’s losing losing effort.
Regulation time ended at 108-all.
Phoenix (100) — Perkins 18, Abueva 17, Wright 17, Heruela 15, Garcia 9, Jazul 9, Chua 7, Intal 6, Marcelo 2, Mallari 0, Rios 0
Blackwater (95) — Canaleta 21, Belo 17, Trollano 13, Escoto 11, Tolomia 9, Sumang 8, Magat 8, Gabriel 4, Dario 2, Daquioag 2, Golla 0, Salem 0, Dennison 0.
Quarterscores: 15-21, 34-45, 67-70, 100-95.
Alaska (122) – Ahanmisi 25, Casio 19, Tratter 16, Herndon 14, Teng 13, Manuel 11, DiGregorio 11 , Ayaay 5, Brondial 8, Ebona 0, Galliguez 0
NLEX (119)– – Ravena 30, Quinahan 24, Cruz 18, Alas 13, Soyud 9, Miranda 9, Semerad 8, Ighalo 5, Varilla 3, Porter 0, Ayonayon 0
Quarterscores : 17-23, 53-49, 75-75, 108-108, 122-119.