Phoenix escapes

October 24, 2018

Games tomorrow:

(Ynares Center Antipolo)

4:30 p.m. -- NLEX vs. Alaska

7 p.m. -- Magnolia vs. Talk N Text

IT was not exactly the kind of win that Phoenix coach Louie Alas wanted.

But Alas would take it anytime, anywhere.

The Fuel Masters rallied from  the  depth of  a 16-point deficit to bring down  Rain or Shine, 103-97, and  boost  their playoff chances in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the  Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Michael Phelps and Calvin Abueva scored 18 points apiece and Matthew Wright added 17 points for the Fuel Masters, who solidified their hold on fourth place with  their seventh win in 10 matches in the season-ending, import-spiced  tournament.

But although the win enabled Phoenix to strengthen its bid for a top four finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, Alas was far from satisfied.

“Hindi dapat lumamang ng ganun kalaki. Maraming carelessness at unforced  turnovers. Hindi maganda yun attitude. Parang gustong manalo sa shootout  instead of defensively,” said Alas after the game.

Phelps, Abueva, L.A. Revilla and RJ Jazul  combined in a decisive 13-3 scoring run spanning six minutes  that turned an 80-87 deficit  into a 93-90 lead with 1:16 remaining.

Revilla himself capped the scoring binge with a wide-open three-pointer that broke the E-Painters’ back.

And after the E-Painters came to within 97-100,  Abueva came through with a split free throw and Phelps scored on a dunk shot to complete the come-frm-behind win.

Chris Tiu  finsihed with  24 points and James Yap added 14 points for  Rain  or  Shine,  which suffered its third straight  setback and slipped to 2-7 overall.

Rain or Shine import Terrence Watson, however, had his worst game in  the conference.

Watson was limited to only points, seven  rebounds and   three blocks before  fouling out late in the fourth period.

Meanwhile, the league opens its 44th season with a bang by holding an overseas game a week after kicking off hostilities on Jan.13.

Twice postponed, a game pitting Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine will be finally held in Guam on Jan. 19 during the season-opening Philippine Cup.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial  went to the  U.S. territory last week to attend the formal press conference   announcing that it’s finally all systems go for the staging of the first PBA game in Guam in more  than a decade.

The match was originally scheduled last Oct. 13, but visa problems on the part of  the league delegation set back the plan.

It was later reset to November, but with the FIBA World Cup qualifier set late in the month, the league can no longer adjust its schedule lest in  risk the  possibility of holding a game on Dec. 26 if and when the finals of the ongoing Governors Cup goes the full seven-game route.

The scores:

Phoenix  (103) -- Abueva 18, Phelps 18, Wright 17, Revilla 13, Chua 12, Perkins 10, Jazul 7, Intal 3, Wilson 3, Kramer 2, Alolino 0. Rain or Shine  (97)-- Tiu 24, Yap 14, Ponferada 11, Ahanmisi 10, Borboran 9, Nambatac 8, Morwood 7, Washington 6, Watson 4, Daquioag 2, Maiquez 2, Torres 0. Quarterscores 27-21, 50-55, 74-84, 103-97.