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    Weary Phoenix wary of TnT's small ball offense as Fuel Masters gun for second straight win

    Jan 19, 2019
    Calvin Abueva and the Fuel Masters battle Jayson Castro and the undermanned TNT Katropa.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    PHOENIX braces for TnT Katropa’s small ball offense when the Fuel Masters gun for a second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

    Coach Louie Alas noted how the Katropa has become a running, jump shooting team this season similar to the plays being run by defending two-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

    And it didn’t help any that the Fuel Masters were dragged to overtime by the Meralco Bolts in their debut game Friday night before prevailing, 93-92.

    “Puro viewing lang kami. Wala nang ilalabas sa practice ang mga yan (Fuel Masters),” said Alas ahead of the Petron Saturday special twinbill.

    While the Katropa are coming off a 90-79 loss to Barangay Ginebra on opening day, the Fuel Masters expect their opponents to engage them in an up-tempo game behind their quick, shooting guards.

    “Totally different team sila ngayon. Parang Golden State yung nira-run nilang plays, 4-out, 5-out, tapos isa lang yung big man nila,” said Alas.

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      “Kailangan dalhin namin yung running shoes namin against them, sobrang bilis nila ngayon, every 3 to 4 seconds uma-attempt sila. Kaya pag medyo tinamad kami, su-shoot ng walang bantay yan.”

      The Katropa however, will be coming to the 6:45 p.m. encounter with one less stalwart after the hamstring injury suffered by Jericho Cruz that will keep him out of action for about a month.

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      Phoenix, meanwhile, won’t have the services of injured veteran big man Willy Wilson, prompting management to activate reserve forward Rey Guevarra.

      The first game will have Meralco and Blackwater clashing in a battle between winless teams.

      The Elite fell to the NorthPort Batang Pier, 117-91, despite getting 18 points and nine rebounds from rookie big man Abu Tratter.

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      Calvin Abueva and the Fuel Masters battle Jayson Castro and the undermanned TNT Katropa.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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