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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

PBA: Fourth quarter run helps Phoenix slip past Rain or Shine

Phoenix Fuel Masters' import Johnathan Williams III.

Phoenix Fuel Masters’ import Johnathan Williams III. –PBA IMAGES

ANTIPOLO — Phoenix Super LPG survived a tight endgame on Saturday night, pulling out a 99-98 victory at the expense of Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Ynares Center here.

The Fuel Masters leaned on import Johnathan Williams III for most of the contest and then on Jason Perkins and rookie Kenneth Tuffin in the final frame to get back to the winning column and improve to a 2-1 record in the race.

“As a team, we fought hard. Basketball is a game of runs. Rain or Shine they made runs but we stuck together as a team and just kept fighting on to the last second,” said Williams, who finished with 29 points and 18 rebounds.

Perkins and Tuffin joined hands in a 16-0 scoring frenzy in the payoff period that gave Phoenix a cushion to blunt the winless Painters’ spirited tries at a comeback.

Perkins had 14 points, Tyler Tio 13 and Sean Manganti 10 as Phoenix gutted out a comeback win in front of former ace Matthew Wright, who was in town for a short break from his club chores with Kyoto Hannaryz in the Japan B.League.

Santi Santillan had 17 points, while Andrei Caracut chipped in 15 points for the Rain or Shine, whose drought extended to three matches.

Phoenix will have a chance to get a streak going against Blackwater Friday next week, while the Painters could slide into a deeper hole when they battle crowd darling and defending champion Barangay Ginebra in that playdate’s nightcap at the Big Dome.

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