PHOENIX compounded the misery of NLEX, coasting to a 102-91 victory to solidify its postseason bid in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Fuel Masters shrugged off an early deficit, turning the game around in the middle quarters before maintaining a sizeable cushion in the payoff period to regain their winning ways.
Simon Enciso, who played his first two conferences at NLEX, tormented his former team, knocking down five treys on the way to a team-high 21 points on top of five boards, four assists, and one steal.
Matthew Wright flirted with the PBA's first-ever quadruple-double with 12 points, 12 boards, and nine assists to go with his nine turnovers.
The Fuel Masters registered a third win in four games - and fifth in nine games overall while dealing the Road Warriors their seventh loss in nine games, pushing them on the verge of elimination.
“I challenged them. We lost the first quarter because of a three-point shot, and we just told them to seal out their shooters,” Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia said after they trailed by two points after the first period, before outscoring the Road Warriors, 61-41, in the next two quarters.
“There’s nothing to celebrate pa kasi yung mga ka-tie namin, tinalo kami,” he was quick to add, referring to Blackwater and TNT Katropa.
JC Intal chipped in 16 points, four boards, and three assists, Willy Wilson returned from injury to register 12 points and nine boards, while Cyrus Baguio added 13 points off the bench for the Fuel Masters, who prevailed despite committing 31 turnovers overall.
The Fuel Masters established a 24-point lead, 94-70, on an Intal layup early in the fourth, enough cushion to weather a late stand by the Road Warriors led by Sean Anthony who finished with a game-high 23 points and eight boards.
PHOENIX 102 – Enciso 21, Intal 16, Baguio 13, W. Wilson 12, Wright 12, Borboran 7, Lanete 7, Miranda 5, Torres 5, J.Wilson 2, Caperal 2
NLEX 91 – Anthony 23, J. Villanueva 11, Soyud 10, Guinto 9, Alas 8, Rios 6, Lanete 6, Taulava 4, Khobuntin 3, Lastimosa 3, Monfort 3, Camson 2, E. Villanueva 2, Gotladera 1, Baracael 0
Quarterscores: 20-22, 53-48, 81-63, 102-91