PHOENIX Pulse sustained its fiery start to the season on Wednesday night, handily beating Columbian Dyip, 108-98, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters posted their third win in as many outings for the best start in franchise history while sending the Dyip crashing back to earth after a rousing opening-day win over San Miguel last week.
Phoenix opened the game with 12 straight points and sustained that lead all game long to occupy first place in the two-week old season.
Matthew Wright scored 22 points while Calvin Abueva added 16 points, nine rebounds, and three steals in a face-off with fellow San Sebastian product and the top overall pick from last year’s draft, CJ Perez.
“Hopefully masundan pa ulit next game,” said Phoenix Pulse coach Louie Alas. “May 10 days rest kami, so at least puwede ulit kaming mag-aral ng mag-aral.”
Phoenix Pulse led by as many as 19 points and Wright responded with a three-pointer after Columbian made its biggest move, cutting down the lead to five points at 82-77.
“Pattern na talaga sa amin ‘yung pag nagli-lead kami ng double figures, babalik kami sa old habit na magre-rely kami sa offensive firepower. Dalawang beses kanina, we were up by 11, pag time-out ko, hindi naman kami nage-execute," Alas said.
“Then afterwards, nag-timeout ulit ako, pinasok ko ‘yung mga second stringers, and they executed well… Sinasabi ko nga sa kanila, manalo tayo because of our defense.”
Rookie JP Calvo scored 18 points for Columbian while Jackson Corpuz and Eric Camson had 13 points each as the Dyip dropped to 1-1.
After scoring 26 points in his first PBA game, Perez had 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two blocks but shot just 3-of-11 from the field.
Phoenix Pulse 108 - Wright 22, Abueva 16, Perkins 14, Intal 13, Revilla 12, Kramer 8, Marcelo 7, Jazul 6, Chua 4, Napoles 2, Mendoza 2, Dennison 2, Mallari 0.
Columbian 98 - Calvo 18, Corpuz 13, Camson 13, Perez 10, McCarthy 10, Celda 9, Reyes 9, Escoto 8, Khobuntin 6, Agovida 2, Cabrera 0, Tabi 0, Cahilig 0.
Quarters: 24-14; 53-47; 82-72; 108-98.