PHOENIX gave its playoffs bid in the PBA Philippine Cup a big shot in the arm following a 114-92 rout of winless Blackwater on a rainy Saturday in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Phoenix vs Blackwater recap
Jason Perkins had another big game for the Fuel Masters, but likewise got ample support from Justine Chua, Matthew Wright, and RJ Jazul in the team's second straight win that raised its record to 4-5 overall.
Perkins finished with 17 points along with Chua, who added nine rebounds, while Wright had an all-around game of 16 points, eight rebounds, and six assist, spiked by a 4-of-8 shooting from three-point range.
"I'm starting to see our team developing an identity, offesively and defensively. So I think we're moving on the right track and that's all I could really hope for," said Wright during the post-game presser at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.
Phoenix kept Blackwater still winless in nine games, tying the Bossing for the second longest losing streak in PBA history, counting back the eight consecutive losses they suffered in the Clark bubble last season.
As in their past games, the Bossing had another fast start and dictated the tempo early on.
But the Fuel Masters got their act going in the second quarter and were already ahead, 52-50, at the break after trailing by as many as seven in the opening period.
Jazul added to Blackwater's woes as the veteran guard fired a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range for 14 points, while rookie Aljun Melecio and Chris Banchero also finished in double figures and combined for 21 points.
"The win will be the by-product of what we're doing," said coach Topex Robinson, whose Fuel Masters registered their first back-to-back wins this conference for eight spot in the standings.
"We still have a lot of things to work on as a team. Good thing about us is we have control of our destiny. So we just have to grind it out in our last two games."
Mike Tolomia tried to carry the fight for Blackwater with 23 points and five rebounds. Marlon Magat had 14, while Ed Daquioag added 10 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Phoenix (114) - Perkins 17, Chua 17, Wright 16, Jazul 14, Melecio 11, Banchero 10, Garcia 8, Manuel 7, Muyang 5, Pascual 4, Rios 3, Calisaan 0.
Blackwater (92) - Tolomia 23, Magat 14, Daquioag 10, Golla 8, Enciso 6, Cruz 6, Escoto 6, Canaleta 4, Desiderio 4, Amer 3, Dennison 2, Torralba 0, Paras 0.
Quarterscores: 22-29; 52-50; 82-68; 114-92.
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