PHOENIX Pulse wore down Columbian Dyip behind a sustained offensive, 108-98, installing itself as a contender this early in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Just when the Dyip were starting to build a momentum of their own following an ego-boosting win over the San Miguel Beer, the Fuel Masters came out on the right time to nip them in the bud.
In so doing, the Fuel Masters leaned on a stable offensive anchored on Matthew Wright, Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, JC Intal and L.A. Revilla who all finished in double figures.
Wright cut loose with 22 points, while the four others chipped in 12 points or more as the Fuel Masters picked up their third straight win to grab the solo lead in the kickoff conference.
The Dyip tumbled to their first defeat after that huge win over the Beermen, with CJ Perez managing just 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Fuel Masters dominated well the rebound, cornering as many as 53 as against 40 of Columbian.
Doug Kramer became the best in the first after finishing with eight points and two assists, with his drive with less than four minutes left in the second quarter giving Phoenix a 46-31 lead.
The Dyip trailed for most part of the first half despite sinking seven triples against the Fuel Masters’ only two.
Eric Camson scored on a jumper to ignite a Columbian 12-2 run where Reden Celda added six points, including a triple and fast break conversion, and Rashawn McCarthy’s four-point cluster as the Dyip moved to within 48-43.
The league returns to the Ynares Center in Antipolo with a twinbill.
It will be the Dyip against Northport at 4:30 p.m. and San Miguel Beer against Meralco in the nightcap at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile Fil-Canadian forward Sean Anthony emerged as the first Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the 2019 season after contributing huge numbers in NorthPort’s strong start in the Philippine Cup.
A known hardworker on both ends of the floor, the 6-foot-4 Anthony registered averages of 20.5 points 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals as NorthPort beat Blackwater followed by NLEX in its first two assignments in the All-Filipino conference.
In the Batang Pier’s opening game, Anthony came off the bench and scored 19 points, hauled down five rebounds, issued the same number of assists and one steal as they ripped the Elite, 117-91 last January 16.
Four days later, the PBA’s sixth overall pick in the 2010 rookie draft sizzled with 22 points, nine rebounds, seven steals and five assists to power NorthPort to a 95-90 win over NLEX.
NorthPort’s back-to-back wins marked the franchise’s best season start in two years.
“We know Sean, laban lang ng laban,” NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio said after his team’s five-point win over NLEX on Sunday. “Sixth man nga namin, pero nag-deliver, nag-double double, tapos ‘yung hustle di tumitigil.”
Anthony bested teammates Mo Tautuaa and Robert Bolick, along with Phoenix’s Jason Perkins, Alex Mallari and Justin Chua for the weekly citation.
NorthPort will be gunning for a third straight win this Friday when it collides with Columbian Dyip at the Ynares Center in Antipolo
Phoenix (108) — Wright 22, Abueva 16, Perkins 14, Intal 13, Revilla 12, Kramer 8, Marcelo 7, Jazul 6, Chua 4, Mendoza 2, Napoles 2, Dennison 2, Mallari 0.
Columbian (98) — Calvo 18, Camson 13, Corpuz 13, McCarthy 10, Perez 10, Reyes 9, Celda 9, Escoto 8, Khobuntin 6, Agovida 2, Cahilig 0, Cabrera 0, Tabi 0.
Quarterscores: 24-14, 53-47, 82-72, 108-98.