BACK-to-back games may be a pain to most teams and players, but it turned out to be a blessing of sorts for RJ Jazul.
Coming off one his worst performances in a long time against Meralco last Wednesday, Jazul bounced back in a big way to steer Phoenix to an all-important 84-72 win over GlobalPort in the PBA Commissioner's Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Two days removed from a dismal 1-for-13 shooting performance in their 81-66 defeat to the Bolts, Jazul responded with one of his best games in a Phoenux uniform with 21 points, 17 of these coming in the pivotal second half.
"Ayun 'yung maganda. Back-to-back games e, so shorter yung break. You have the chance to redeem yourself na madalian," Jazul said after the match.
"Fortunately, nagbunga yung positive mindset. I had a talk with my wife. Sabi niya, 'Okay lang yan, ituloy-tuloy mo lang yung positive mindset," he added.
Phoenix's bid for a playoff berth also served as extra motivation for the former Alaska guard, whose team moved up to eighth with a 4-5 record as the Batang Pier dropped to 2-6.
"Parang backed against the wall na kami e. Crucial yung sa GlobalPort kasi kung matalo kami, bababa kami tapos sila aangat. So we need this win to separate us from other teams," he continued.
"Simula nung Meralco, playoff (mode) yung mga laro namin so we have to play better if we want to make the playoffs talaga."
Coach Ariel Vanguardia totally appreciated the sense of urgency that Jazul showed, mentioning that the former Letran star was quick to apologize for that bad outing.
Thankfully for the Fuel Masters, Jazul was just as quick to atone.
"RJ, I think, stepped up big time today. He was 1-of-13 the last game, he was the first one who texted me after apologizing for the way he played," said Vanguardia.
"He was really out of it versus Meralco and Baser ran circles around him. I just told him na we have one day to prepare and one day to redeem ourselves so yun, maganda naman yung naging response."