Phoenix logs second straight win

By Inquirer |January 07,2018 - 09:51 PM

Phoenix playmaker RJ Jazul directs the offense as he is defended by NLEX veteran Larry Fonacier in yesterday’s PBA game at the Araneta Coliseum.
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PHOENIX Petroleum, ever since adopting a new culture, notched a second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night, but the man responsible for that new look still thinks that the Fuel Masters are still far from contending with the elite teams.

“It’s too early to tell,” Louie Alas, who assumed head coaching chores this season, said after a 102-95 win over NLEX, Phoenix’ biggest victim under his watch thus far. “We are still 2-3 players away before we can contend with the elite.”

But the way the Fuel Masters handled the Road Warriors, they looked very much like formidable title threats as they took NLEX out of its rhythm in the second half to lead by as large as 17 in the fourth period.

“Our concentration (on defense) was to contain their perimeter guys,” Alas said. “We know we can’t stop them, we just had to limit them.”

Hardest hit by the Phoenix defense among NLEX’s perimeter players was star rookie Kiefer Ravena, who came into the game averaging 18.5 points and finished with just eight, just two in each of the last two periods.

There were six players in twin digits for Phoenix, with Matthew Wright leading the way with 19 and Jeff Chan tossing in 18, all in the first three periods.

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