Phoenix aims to extend its unbeaten run when it faces Blackwater at 4:30 p.m. today in Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
The Fuel Masters were unstoppable in its last three games winning against Meralco (93-92), TNT KaTropa (93-84) and Columbian Dyip (108-98).
“I’m not surprised with what Blackwater did to Rain or Shine,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas, referring to the Elite’s stunning 111-99 victory against erstwhile undefeated Rain or Shine on Wednesday.
“They are capable of winning and it will be a very tough game for us. So we have to unleash our A-game defense.”
Another solid game is expected of Matthew Wright, who averaged 21 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in their last three games. Calvin Abueva, Justin Chua, Jason Perkins and LA Revilla are also expected to step up in tonight’s game.
The Elite’s win over the Elasto Painters behind Mike Digregorio’s 27 points and five rebounds, was the team’s first in three games.
“We can celebrate this win (against Rain or Shine) for tonight. But tomorrow we should prepare. We’ve got to have the same mindset to win every single game,” Digregorio said.
In the 7 p.m. second game, Rain or Shine (2-1) aims to bounce back as it goes up against defending champion San Miguel Beer (2-2).
“We should prepare against San Miguel Beer because they are also coming from a loss. We’re expecting Terrence Romeo and Alex Cabagnot to play hard,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia. “We should find ways to stick up to them until the end.”
Rain or Shine will be out for battle behind Gabe Norwood, Maverick Ahanmisi, returning Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga and rookie Jayvee Mocon.
Leading the charge for the Beermen who lost 93-104 to TNT on Sunday are five-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Christian Standhardinger and Arwind Santos. JOSEF T. RAMOS