Phoenix Fuel Masters down Alaska to snap two-game skid
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Phoenix Fuel Masters put a halt to their two-game losing streak as they triumphed over the Alaska Aces, 94-86,in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday, April 21 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Jameel McKay exploded for 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting and grabbed 22 rebounds in the Fuel Masters’ bounce back victory. The top scoring import suffered cramps with over a minute left in the match, and remained in the sidelines until the final buzzer.
The Fuel Masters only started to drift away in the opening minutes of the 4th quarter, extending the cushion to 12 as they dominated the glass, 47-39.
Alaska refused to walk away easily, as back-to-back triples from import Cory Jefferson and JVee Casio led the Aces to within 6.
RJ Jazul, however, spelled doom for his former squad as he nailed a jumper to extend Phoenix’s lead back to 8 with 46.9 left on the clock. He finished with 10 points, 3 boards, and 8 assists.
Cyrus Baguio also dished out 12 markers, 6 rebounds and 2 assists against his former team.
“I think the executing through RJ and through Cyrus, got Jameel touches, got Matt [Wright] going in the 3rd quarter. They’re instrumental for this victory,” said Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia after the game.
“We have a long break after this to get better. I think Jameel is getting better every time. We know how to play with him. He’s not your typical go-to guy, but there’s a lot of positives with him,” he mused of the import.
“He plays defense, he plays hard every time. Today, he was starting to prove a point.”
Jefferson meanwhile anchored the Aces with a double-double of 31 points and 13 rebounds, while Casio added 14 markers, 5 rebounds as well as 5 dimes.
Alaska absorbed its second straight loss of the tournament, and has now slipped to a 4-2 slate.
Phoenix (94) - McKay 42, Baguio 12, Jazul 10, Wright 7, Borboran 7, Kramer 6, Alolino 5, Miranda 5, Torres 0, Dehesa 0
Alaska (86) - Jefferson 31, Casio 14, Thoss 8, Exciminiano 6, Racal 6, Mendoza 6, Enciso 5, Cruz 3, Dela Cruz 3, Hontiveros 2, Andrada 2, Pascual 0
Quarter scores: 25-19, 42-36, 66-62, 94-86. –Rappler.com