By Adrian Stewart Co
Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters clawed its way back from 16 points down to beat Blackwater Elite, 100-95, in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup on Monday at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Pampanga.
Trailing 34-50 at the onset of the third period, the Fuel Masters leaned on three-point conversions by Jason Perkins and Matthew Wright and inside hits by Calvin Abueva to take a 55-54 lead.
Blackwater was able to regain the advantage at 77-69 early in the fourth but Phoenix leaned on baskets by Abueva, Perkins and RJ Jazul for an 81-79 advantage which later grew to 89-82 after a triple by Bacolodnon center Justin Chua.
The Elite made its last push to come to as close as 85-89 but the Fuel Masters went for the kill with conversions from Abueva, Perkins and Wright for a 100-93 advantage with under a minute left.
Perkins finished the match with double-double 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Abueva and Wright chipped in 17 markers apiece as the Fuel Masters moved up to joint first with 7-3 win-loss slate.
Brian Heruela also finished in double-figures with 15 points, including four three-point conversions, while Chua grabbed 11 rebounds to go along with his seven points and five blocks for Phoenix.
Rommel Niño Canaleta ended up with 21 points, including five triples, while Rey Mark Belo chipped in 18 markers and eight rebounds as the Elite slumped to 2-8 win-loss slate.
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; 45-34; 67-70; 100-95./ASC, WDJ