JC Intal continues to thrive in bench role as Phoenix adds to Mahindra misery
JC Intal topscored with 24 points off the gench for Phoenix. Dante Peralta

PHOENIX added to the misery of Mahindra, dealing the Floodbuster a 114-104 defeating in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Fuel Masters enjoyed a sizeable cushion throughout the game as JC Intal continued to thrive in a bench role, pumping in 24 points, seven boards, four assists, and two blocks, while rookie Matthew Wright also shone in his place in the starting lineup, tallying 21 points.

As a result, Phoenix won their second straight game in five days after starting the all-Filipino conference with a loss while keeping the Floodbuster winless after three starts.

The score belied how one-sided the game was as the Floodbuster – similar to their loss to Rain or Shine last Wednesday – went on a late run, scored 21 unanswered points late in the fourth to make the score look respectable in the end.

And that didn’t sit well with winning coach Ariel Vanguardia.

“I wasn’t too happy the way we finished this game,” Vanguardia said in the post-game conference. “I’m aching to go back to the dugout to tell them that.”

“We started the game the way we wanted until that moment that we stopped playing basketball,” he added. “Mahindra is also loaded with players that can score. It's just that their chemistry right now is the one that's hurting them because they have so many new players.”

The Fuel Masters’ hot outside shooting kept the on cruise control as Intal knocked down six three-pointers, Wright added five, while Simon Enciso sustained his torrid pace with four triples.

Six players scored in double figures for the Fuel Masters, who established a lead that grew to as many as 30 points, 105-75 early in the fourth, before the Floodbuster went on that 21-0 run to make the score respectable.

Seven players, led by Alex Mallari who registered 19 points, scored in twin digits for the Floodbuster, but their defense remained porous, allowing the Fuel Masters to put up 95 points on the boards in the first three quarters.

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The scores:

PHOENIX 114 – Intal 24, Wright 21, Enciso 12, Caperal 12, Baguio 10, Alolino 10, Torres 8, Lanete 7, Borboran 4, W.Wilson 3, Miranda 2, Javillonar 1, J.Wilson 0, Hayes 0

MAHINDRA 104 – Mallari 19, Paniamogan 15, Arana 12, Eriobu 12, Yee 11, Apinan 10, Celda 10, Nimes 6, Guevarra 5, Escoto 2, Revilla 2, Ballesteros 0, Deutchman 0, Salva 0

Quarterscores: 32-23, 60-43, 95-68, 114-104

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos