PHOENIX steadied in the fourth quarter to bring down Magnolia, 95-82, and keep its hot streak going in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters felt the Hotshots’ challenge only in the third period when the latter engaged them in a close battle highlighted by two deadlocks, before they gave their all in the fourth period.
Eugene Phelps cut loose with 36 points and hauled down 20 big rebounds as he outplayed Magnolia’s Romeo Travis, and powered the Fuel Masters to their third straight win and fifth overall in six outings.
Justin Chua and Calvin Abueva also logged in solid games for Phoenix, with the former scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Abueva finished with nine points but grabbed 10 rebounds.
It was Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins however who delivered baskets when the game was on the line as Phoenix sent the Hotshots reeling to their first loss in three outings.
The Hotshots were still within striking distance at 75-72, on Travis basket early in the fourth, when the Fuel Masters unloaded a blistering 12-3 salvo to rip the game apart, 87-75, and sent Magnolia coach Chito Victolero suing for time.
A quick triple by Aldrech Ramos followed by Travis basket with 1:59 left had the Hotshots moving within 87-80, but Wright retaliated in the ensuing play with two freethrows while Perkins followed suit with a basket as Phoenix virtually sealed the outcome, 93-80.
Travis, who had previously played for Alaska, led the Hotshots with 28 points aside from cornering 19 rebounds.
Phoenix (95) - Phelps 36, Wright 13, Chua 12, Abueva 9, Revilla 9, Jazul 9, Perkins 7, Intal 0, Wilson 0.
Magnolia (82) - Travis 28, Barroca 11, Sangalang 11, Jalalon 11, Lee 8, Ramos 6, Dela Rosa 3, Melton 2, Gamalinda 2, Pascual 0, Reavis 0, Brondial 0, Herndon 0.
Quarterscores: 30-19, 48-48, 71-67, 95-82.