ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Phoenix stretched its hot run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup behind the endgame heroics of Encho Serrano as it held off Rain or Shine, 92-83, at the Ynares Center here on Wednesday, October 26.
Serrano scored 6 of the last 9 points of the Fuel Masters, who extended the longest active winning streak in the PBA to four straight games and improved to 4-3.
Playing beyond his years, the rookie guard netted a career-high 18 points plus 5 rebounds and 5 assists as he drained key buckets down the stretch to keep the Elasto Painters from completing their comeback from an 18-point hole.
Rain or Shine got within 3 points off a pair of Steve Taylor free throws and a Gian Mamuyac triple, 83-86, before Serrano scored an acrobatic layup with 1:30 minutes left to make it a two-possession advantage for Phoenix.
Serrano padded their lead to 6 points with a free throw as the Fuel Masters sealed the win with foul shots from import Kaleb Wesson and RJ Jazul.
Wesson led the way for Phoenix with 21 points, 17 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 4 steals as he powered their big third quarter, which saw the Fuel Masters build a 72-59 lead going into the final salvo.
Jazul chimed in 11 points, Sean Anthony totaled 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Jake Pascual added 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Tyler Tio and Javee Mocon chimed in 5 points each and combined for 12 rebounds and 6 assists as Phoenix continues to pick up playoff steam after starting the conference with three consecutive losses.
On the other hand, the Elasto Painters failed to get a win run going and fell to 3-4.
Taylor finished with 16 points and 19 rebounds in the losing effort, while Mamuyac posted 14 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Phoenix 92 – Wesson 21, Serrano 18, Jazul 11, Anthony 9, Pascual 8, Manganti 7, Mocon 5, Tio 5, Rios 4, Adamos 2, Robles 2, Camacho 0, Lojera 0, Lalata 0, Garcia 0.
Rain or Shine 83 – Taylor Jr. 16, Mamuyac 14, Nambatac 12, Asistio 9, Belga 8, Caracut 5, Demusis 5, Norwood 5, Ponferrada 5, Santillan 2, Borboran 2, Nieto 0.
Quarters: 19-22, 48-42, 72-59, 92-83.