Phoenix eliminates Meralco, advances to PBA semis

Posted by watchmen
January 23, 2024
Posted in SPORTS


Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters’ Tyler Tio shoots over the defense of Meralco Bolts’ Clifford Hodge. (PBA photo)
Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters’ Tyler Tio shoots over the defense of Meralco Bolts’ Clifford Hodge. (PBA photo)


The Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters survived another endgame meltdown to defeat the Meralco Bolts, 88-84, in the do-or-die quarterfinals of the 2023-2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Sunday night, January 21.

Holding to a 77-62 lead after three quarters, the Fuel Masters struggled for their points in the fourth quarter as the Bolts rallied to within 75-79 on two free throws by import Shonn Miller.

Conversions from Kenneth Tuffin, Johnathan Williams III and Jason Perkins gave the Fuel Masters some breathing room at 85-77, but the Bolts threatened anew at 81-85 on baskets by Allein Maliksi and Clifford Hodge.

Free throws from Williams and Perkins widened the Fuel Masters’ lead to 88-81 with six seconds left.

Maliksi pulled the Bolts to within 84-88 with a three-pointer, but that was the closest they were able to cut into the Phoenix’s lead.

Williams led the way for the Fuel Masters with a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds and much decent 8-of-12 shooting from the free throw area, while Perkins added 19 points and 13 rebounds.

RJ Jazul also made his presence felt with 13 points, including three outside conversions. Tuffin chipped in 10 markers and Jayvee Mocon hauled in 11 rebounds to go with nine points for Phoenix.

The Fuel Masters were on fire from the three-point area in the first quarter as they established a 30-22 lead.

It grew further to 55-43 at the half on connections from Williams, Mocon and Perkins in the second quarter.

The Bolts attempted a huge run in the third period to cut the deficit to 54-60, but the Fuel Masters answered with three-pointers from Jazul and Rodolfo Alejandro for the biggest lead of 18 points at 74-56.

Maliksi, Hodge and Chris Newsome each finished with 15 points to lead the way for the Bolts.

Miller struggled in the do-or-die game with 12 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Kier John Quinto contributed 11 points.

The Fuel Masters will face the top-seed Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots in the best-of-five semifinals series, while the other series features defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings and San Miguel Beermen./ASC, WDJ


PHOENIX 88 — Williams 21, Perkins 19, Jazul 13, Tuffin 10, Mocon 9, Tio 6, Rivero 4, Alejandro 4, Garcia 2, Verano 0, Soyud 0, Manganti 0, Muyang 0, Daves 0, Camacho 0, Lalata 0.

MERALCO 84 — Newsome 15, Hodge 15, Maliksi 15, Miller 12, Quinto 11, Banchero 7, Black 7, Almazan 2, Rios 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 30-22, 55-43, 77-62, 88-84.

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