NO lead is really safe for GlobalPort when it’s up against Phoenix.
Facing a Batang Pier team that they stunned after coming back from 26 points down in the Philippine Cup, the Fuel Masters did the same on Friday, turning it around in the second half to coast to a 84-72 victory and bolster their playoff hopes in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Fuel Masters overcame an early 15-point deficit, getting motivation from a halftime tongue-lashing from coach Ariel Vanguardia to turn the tables after intermission before pulling away at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
RJ Jazul bounced back from a disappointing performance against Meralco while Jameel Mckay again anchored the middle with another 20-20 effort as the Fuel Masters improved to a 4-5 win-loss record stay in eighth spot, while keeping the Batang Pier behind them at ninth spot at 2-6.
“We had an ugly halftime,” Vanguardia admitted. “I was really pissed on how we played individual basketball. I told them to show some pride and play, because they’re just letting Globlaport do whatever they want.”
“Good thing is, players like Chico (Lanete) stepped up big time today. He was able to spark our run. Norbert (Torres) hit a couple of shots…and RJ stepped up big time,” he added as the team missed Gilas rookie Matthew Wright for the second straight game.
Coming off an 81-66 loss to the Bolts just last Wednesday when he missed all but one of his 13 shots and scored the rest of his five points from the foul line, Jazul registered 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, on top of four boards, two steals, and one steal in 40 minutes.
McKay, for his part, pumped in 22 points and 20 boards, along with two assists, and one block, against seven turnovers in 42 minutes.
Lanete scored all his six points in the second half, the last two on a breakaway layup off his steal from Mike Cortez that gave the Fuel Masters their biggest lead at 78-65 – completing a 28-point turnaround.
Stanley Pringle carried most of the load without backcourt partner Terrence Romeo as he put up an all-around showing of 25 points, nine boards, and six assists that went for naught for GlobalPort.
PHOENIX 84 – McKay 22, Jazul 21, Baguio 8, Lanete 6, Eriobu 6, Torres 5, Borboran 4, Alolino 4, Dehesa 4, Kramer 2, W. Wilson 2, Intal 0, J. Wilson 0
GLOBALPORT 72 – Pringle 25, White 16, Cortez 12, Aban 7, Quinahan 4, Forrester 3, Pessumal 3, Mamaril 2, Maierhofer 0, Ababou 0, Urbiztondo 0
Quarterscores: 14-28, 27-36, 57-55, 84-72