Newcomer Phoenix Petroleum capitalized on an early lead to pull off a 114-99 win over Mahindra on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum. The victory ended the Fuel Masters’ three-game losing streak.
Using impeccable sniper shots the entire game, the Phoenix Fuel Masters bested the Mahindra Enforcers in the three-point zone 14-8 to improve its win-loss record to 2-3.
Phoenix also registered more assists, 23-14, than Mahindra.
“I’ am happy the players were ready to come out in today’s ballgame,” said Phoenix coach Koy Banal during the postgame interview. “It all started on the defensive end. I am glad everybody responded, they were challenged. They saw we were at the cellar and they’re all challenged about it.”
“Our goal is to make it at 500 after Saturday’s game,” he said.
Import Kevin Pinkney, who replaced Nigerian Kenny Adeleke, led the Fuel Masters with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting in the field plus nine rebounds and one block.
Guard Ryan Roose Garcia posted 22 points, including four triples, plus three assists, while the 6’5 forward Willie Wilson had an outstanding output of 21 points plus 10 rebounds and five assists.
JC Intal added 16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals also for Phoenix.
Phoenix outplayed Mahindra in the first quarter using three-point shots to grab the lead 34-23. The Fuel Masters further stretched their advantage to 15 points before the halftime break.
Veteran center Mick Pennisi, who hit two of his three triples in the second quarter, helped Phoenix to establish a huge 61-47 advantage at half time. The Fuel Masters outscored the Enforcers also in the second period 27-24.
Phoenix Petroleum was still dominant in the third period forcing Mahindra to commit more turnovers resulting in more points that provided them a 20-point lead gap (92-72) at the start of the fourth period.
The Enforcers, under the guidance of assistant coach Chito Victolero, failed to recover in the last period as the Fuel Masters secured their first win after three consecutive losses.
Mahindra, like Blackwater now carries a 3-3 win-loss record.
Import Augustus Gilchrist led Mahindra with 21 points plus 12 rebounds and two blocks, while teammate Niño “KG” Canaleta posted 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
In the second game, Alaska survived Ginebra with an 86-80 win that allow it to keep its hold of the second place.
Import Shane Edwards led the Aces with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Calvin Abueva had 17 points and nine rebounds, RJ Jazul had 16 points while Sonny Thoss contributed 10 points for Alaska.
The Aces improved to 4-1 win-loss record while Ginebra dropped to 3-3.