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    Phoenix management's reassurance fuels 'NSD-like' run for Phoenix

    Nov 2, 2022
    Phoenix TNT
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    PHOENIX Super LPG closed n roller-coaster October on a high note in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

    The Fuel Masters were shrouded in uncertainty to begin the campaign when news leaked that a garnishment notice was issued to the bank accounts of Phoenix Petroleum, including a bond that the company paid when in entered the league in 2016.

    Predictably, Phoenix played like a team with an uncertain future, losing its first three games.

    Since then, however, Phoenix hasn’t lost a game, winning five in a row to match the longest winning streak of the conference set by Magnolia to start the conference, capping the month with a 91-88 victory over TNT.

    It was revealed that Phoenix team governor Raymond Zorilla spoke to the team in the middle of the slump to assure the players that the Fuel Masters will not be sold as feared. Apparently, the talk went a long way to the team.

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    Since then, Robinson said the team’s sole focus was on basketball.

    “We got to appreciate the people that support us,” said Phoenix coach Topex Robinson. “Boss Dennis (Uy) has been supporting us so well, boss RTZ (Zorilla), boss Bugs Bugia. We are so grateful for the opportunity. We are blessed and we want to make sure that we are also a blessing to others with the way we play.”

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    In the course of the winning streak, Phoenix defeated playoff contenders NLEX, Barangay Ginebra, Meralco, Rain or Shine, and TNT. Ginebra coach Tim Cone said the Phoenix rampage was ‘no fluke.’

    “It wasn’t a fluke. Phoenix just beat us from top to bottom and they’ve been playing great, great basketball. Hats off to coach Topex,” said Cone.

    Topex has one goal

    “We just keep on playing,” Robinson said on the winning run in October. “I want to borrow ‘never say die’ from Ginebra. We will just keep on fighting.”

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    With the turn of the month comes an even tougher challenge for Phoenix. The Fuel Masters will play fellow in-form team Converge to start November, before facing Magnolia, San Miguel, and Terrafirma.

    “We are so grateful for this opportunity. Winning is the by-product of what we are doing. We know we have a lot of harder teams to play. It’s going to be a hard next three games for us,” said Robinson.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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