Phoenix rises in 2nd half to nip GlobalPort in PBA

By Inquirer |May 05,2017 - 10:33 PM

PHOENIX Petroleum came out of the halftime break on Friday night a very different, focused team, one that played with a lot of pride that made an 84-72 come-from-behind win over GlobalPort in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum possible.

And with two games left in their elimination round schedule, coach Ariel Vanguardia wants his Fuel Masters to focus on one thing when they plunge back into action in less than two weeks:

“We need to win back-to-back games for the first time.”

Jameel McKay scored 22 points and RJ Jazul redeemed himself from a forgettable outing just two nights before with 21 as the Fuel Masters stayed in eighth spot after rising to 4-5 overall.

Meanwhile, defending champion Rain or Shine tries to get back on the winning track when it clashes with Star in a Petron Saturday Special Game slated at 5 p.m. at Batangas City Coliseum.

“This game was very crucial for us, because a loss would have put us in ninth spot (and out of the playoff picture),” Vanguardia said as he praised some of his role players for putting pride in their game after the halftime break.

“It was an ugly halftime (huddle) for us. I was really pissed at how we were playing individual basketball,” he said after the Fuel Masters trailed by as large as 15 early in the second period. “They allowed GlobalPort to do whatever it wanted in the first half.”

The Batang Pier didn’t show signs that they missed Gilas Pilipinas point guard Terrence Romeo in the first period.

But after pouring in 28 in the opening frame, GlobalPort was starved to just eight in the second and to a total of 27 in the middle two quarters that allowed the Fuel Masters to take the lead and never look back.

It was the sixth loss in eight games for the Batang Pier, whose only chance of advancing is to sweep their remaining three games.

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