Solid play from Simon Enciso, Gelo Alolino a silver lining for hard-luck Phoenix
Simon Enciso scored 25 points in a bid to fill the void left by backcourt partner Matthew Wright, who sat out due to food poisoning. Jerome Ascano

WHAT he missed in Matthew Wright, he got from Simon Enciso.

Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia welcomed the splendid showing of Enciso as he focused on the positives after his team’s 94-87 loss to Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday.

With the rookie Wright sidelined by food poisoning, Enciso picked up the cudgels as he pumped in a career-high 25 points highlighted by seven three-pointers.

“Today, he filled up where we missed Matt,” Vanguardia said. “Yung outside shooting napunta kay Simon where in fact sa preseason maganda yung combination nila.”

Enciso, though, could only dish out one assist in almost 34 minutes as a starter.

“He played a very good game, yun lang sana 'yung assists madagdagan,” Vanguardia said of the sophomore point guard.

Another playmaker also made a significant contribution as rookie Gelo Alolino finished with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting along with two boards in 15 minutes off the bench in his debut.

“We were caught by surprise by that (Wright’s absence), he was playing major minutes in the offseason for us, but good thing Gelo stepped up today,” Vanguardia said. “That's a few positive that we could look forward to. We hope to have Matt back by the next game.”

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Despite the solid showing by Alolino and Enciso, Phoenix's rookies were still left in the shade by Blackwater's freshmen led by Mac Belo.

Vanguardia praised the gains Blackwater made during the offseason.

Yung lineup din nila palaban na with Mac and their new additions,” Vanguardia said. “Mas may chemistry na sila dahil yung dati nilang players nandun pa rin and then credit to coach Leo (Isaac) and Blackwater, they were the better team today.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos