PHOENIX Pulse swept its first two games to gain a share of the early lead with NorthPort in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Now, the Fuel Masters get the chance to make it three straight wins and take solo top spot in the 12-team standings today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But standing in the way of Phoenix is dangerous Columbian Dyip,the same team which pulled the rug from under defending champion San Miguel Beer right on its opening-day assignment.
Can the Fuel Masters do it again?
“We’re very happy right now,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas after a pair of smashing victories over Meralco (93-92) and Talk N Text (93-84).
“Pero syempre, pag naging 3-0 (win-loss record), mas happy kami,” added Alas.
Alas said he has already pinpointed the areas which the Dyip used to shock the Beermen.
“Ang main concern ko is their hustle points, points off turnovers, transition points and second chance points. A total of 59 points, almost half of their output,” noted Alas.
“Di kami kailangang ma-outwork ng Dyip.”
The Dyip’s upset win resulted into an early wake-up call for the Beermen, who bounced back with a 99-91 win over Batangay Ginebra last Snday.
“Nakanti yung pride dun sa talo sa Columbian. And their pride prevailed tonight (last Sunday night). Lahat nagpakita ng maganda,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
Actually, Columbian will go into the game with a disadvantage after lead point guard Jerramy King has been sidelined, possibly for the rest of the conference, by a strained posterior cruciate ligament he suffered during that SMB game.
In King’s absence, Dyip coach Johnedel Cardel is expected to call on newcomer Cyrus Tabi to fill in the void.
Tabi was the MVP in the recent M-League, the developmental tournament beingorganzied b the PBAin cooperation with the Metro Manila Devleopmnt Authority (MMDA).
In the 7 p.m.main game, sister teams NLEX and Talk ‘N Text Ka Tropa collide.
The Road Warriors and Tropang Texters have lost their first two games.