PHOENIX finally stopped the bleeding Wednesday night as it scored a wire-to-wire 00-00 win over Mahindra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters rode on a scorching first half scoring that saw RR Garcia and Mick Pennisi already reach double figures at the halfway point, before coasting their way to victory that put an end to the team’s three-game skid.
Phoenix improved to 2-3 going to its game against Star on Saturday.
Garcia led all local scorers with 22 points to complement import Kevin Pinkney, who finished with 23 and nine rebounds in his first win with the team. Pennisi meanwhile, scored all of his 10 points in the opening half.
“The plan was to arrest our three-game skid, and I’m happy the players were ready to come out in today’s ballgame,” said winning coach Koy Banal.
“I’m glad everybody responded to the challenge.”
The Fuel Masters raced to a 34-23 lead after the first quarter and stretched it to its biggest at 46-25 late in the second period.
The Enforcers never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
“They saw the team standings before the game and they were all challenged about it,” said Banal of the Fuel Masters, who won their first game of the conference against NLEX before losing their next three outings.
Mahindra lost for the second straight time to even its card at 3-3.
Import Augustus Gilchrist led the Enforcers with 21 points, including a three-point basket from 28-feet that beat the final buzzer for the final count.
Phoenix (114) - Pinkney 23, Garcia 22, Wilson 21, Intal 16, Pennisi 10, Urbiztondo 7, Brondial 5, Lanete 5, Monfort 5, Baracael 0.
Mahindra (99) -- 99 - Gilchrist 21, Canaleta 18, Dehesa 14, Digregorio 8, Pascual 8, Ramos 7, Yee 7, Pinto 6, Jaime 4, Revilla 4, Guinto 2, Alvarez 0, Hubalde 0, Webb 0.
Quarterscores: 34-23; 61-47; 92-72; 114-99.