PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Tyler Tio career game lifts Phoenix past NLEX for 1st win

Delfin Dioquino
Tyler Tio career game lifts Phoenix past NLEX for 1st win

BLOSSOMING. Tyler Tio eclipses his career-high in points for the second straight game.

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Rookie guard Tyler Tio fires a career-high 26 points as Phoenix earns its first win in the PBA Commissioner's Cup after a 0-3 start

MANILA, Philippines – Tyler Tio turned in his finest PBA performance yet as Phoenix snapped its winless start in the Commissioner’s Cup with a 111-97 win over NLEX at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig on Saturday, October 8.

The sweet-shooting rookie fired a career-high 26 points to go with 7 assists to key the Fuel Masters to their first win of the conference after a 0-3 start.

Eclipsing his previous career-high of 21 points he scored in a loss to Bay Area, Tio shot 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and erupted for 18 points in the second half as Phoenix relied on its young guns with its veterans sidelined.

Jason Perkins remained out as he recovers from a knee surgery, while Sean Anthony sat out after suffering a whiplash against the Dragons.

But the Fuel Masters banked on Tio, Javee Mocon, and Encho Serrano as they dealt the Road Warriors their first loss of the conference and denied Frankie Lim a victory in his first game as NLEX head coach.

Tio, Mocon, and Serrano combined for 20 points in the fourth quarter, which saw Phoenix pull away for good after seizing a slim 81-77 lead at the end of the third period.

Mocon finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Serrano chalked up 17 points and 3 assists in just 17 minutes off the bench.

Import Kaleb Wesson also delivered in the win with 22 points on top of 21 rebounds and 7 assists as he and the Fuel Masters put the clamps on Road Warriors reinforcement Earl Clark in the fourth quarter.

Clark exploded for 36 points to go with 20 rebounds and 8 assists, but he got limited to just 2 points in the last frame, where NLEX got outscored 30-20.

Phoenix captain RJ Jazul added 17 points.

Don Trollano backstopped Clark in scoring with 18 points, while Kevin Alas put up 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss that dropped the Road Warriors to 2-1.

The Scores

Phoenix 111 – Tio 26, Mocon 23, Wesson 22, Jazul 17, Serrano 17, Pascual 4, Camacho 2, Lojera 0, Muyang 0, Rios 0, Garcia 0, Adamos 0.

NLEX 97 – Clark 36, Trollano 18, Alas 16, Ganuelas-Rosser 12, Nieto 11, Chua 2, Celda 2, Miranda 0, Varilla 0.

Quarters: 26-30, 53-55, 81-77, 111-97.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.