PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Tuffin hits game-winner as Phoenix keeps Converge winless; ROS downs Blackwater for 1st win

Martin Mendoza

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Tuffin hits game-winner as Phoenix keeps Converge winless; ROS downs Blackwater for 1st win

TIGHT. Phoenixu2019s Javee Mocon loses the ball against the Converge defense.


Phoenix stretches its winning streak to four games after escaping Converge in a thriller, while Rain or Shine finally enters the win column at the expense of Blackwater

MANILA, Philippines – The Phoenix Fuel Masters continued their sizzling run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after escaping the Converge FiberXers by the skin of their teeth, 99-98, at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday, December 2. 

Phoenix rookie Kenneth Tuffin sank the game-winning layup with 5 seconds remaining as Converge guard Aljun Melecio failed to connect on his potential buzzer-beating jumper in the final play.

The red-hot Fuel Masters notched their fourth straight win for a 5-1 record and dealt the hapless FiberXers their fifth loss in as many outings. 

“There were options in that play. One of the options there was Ken (Tuffin), if there was no pass,” said Fuel Masters head coach Jamike Jarin of their game-winning play off the timeout. 

“Good thing, Jason Perkins saw it. They (Converge) had some scramble on the back screen and fortunately for us, Tuffin made the basket,” he added. 

After trailing the entire fourth quarter, Converge finally got past Phoenix, 96-95, off a three-pointer by its import Tom Vodanovich with 57 seconds to play.

Perkins responded with a layup to put the Fuel Masters back on top, before Vodanovich delivered another crucial basket to give the FiberXers a 98-97 edge, forcing Jarin to call a timeout with only 10 seconds remaining. 

Off the timeout, Perkins then found the cutting Tuffin for a wide-open finish after a defensive lapse by Converge rookies Schonny Winston and Inand Fornilos. 

Converge had one final chance to win it all in the last possession, but Melecio, who missed all his 12 attempts from the field prior to the final play, still couldn’t convert on his pull-up jumper as time expired. 

Coming off a 29-point, 13-rebound performance against the Terrafirma Dyip last Wednesday, November 29, Williams led the Fuel Masters anew with another monster outing of 27 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists. 

Perkins added 20 points and 7 rebounds, while Phoenix’s rookie sensation Ricci Rivero had 12 markers on 5-of-8 shooting.

Vodanovich paced the FiberXers with a game-high 35 points, while Winston chipped in 15. 

In the other game, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters finally barged into the win column of the Commissioner’s Cup after defeating the struggling Blackwater Bossing, 115-110.

Playing minus Gian Mamuyac – who erupted for a career-high 33 points in their previous outing – due to a flu, the Elasto Painters rode on a total team effort as six players scored in double figures. 

Andrei Caracut topscored for Rain or Shine with 17 points, while import Demetrius Treadwell, Leonard Santillan, and rookie Adrian Nocum all finished with 14.

It was Nocum who came up big for Rain or Shine down the stretch as he scored 10 of his 14 points in the last 7 minutes of the ball game, including the two free throws that pushed the Elasto Painters’ lead to its biggest at 13 points, 101-88, at the 4:13 mark of the final frame.

Blackwater managed to pull back within a single possession, 107-110, off a layup by Christian David with 44 seconds to go, but Caracut and Jhonard Clarito responded with four straight free throws to put the Bossing away for good. 

Clarito contributed 11 points, while Mark Borboran added 10 for the Elasto Painters.

On the other side, the Bossing relied heavily on their import Chris Ortiz, who sizzled for 46 points on 16-of-28 shooting. 

Rey Suerte was the next Blackwater player to wind up in double-digit scoring with 12, followed by Troy Rosario’s 10-point output. 

The Elasto Painters improved their record to 1-5, while the Bossing – who suffered their fifth straight loss – dropped to an identical 1-5 slate. 

The Scores

First Game

Phoenix 99 – Williams 27, Perkins 20, Rivero 12, Mocon 9, Tuffin 8, Tio 7, Alejandro 6, Manganti 5, Garcia 3, Jazul 2, Soyud 0, Daves 0, Verano 0, Camacho 0.

Converge 98 – Vodanovich 35, Winston 15, Santos 11, Balanza 10, Arana 10, Racal 9, Tallo 3, Ambohot 3, Melecio 0, Fornilos 0. Wong 0.

Quarters: 27-27, 47-48, 70-70, 99-98. 

Second Game

Rain or Shine 115 – Caracut 17, Treadwell 14, Santillan 14, Nocum 14, Clarito 11, Borboran 10, Belo 8, Ildefonso 7, Nambatac 6, Norwood 6, Yap 6, Demusis 2, Asistio 0.

Blackwater 110 – Ortiz 46, Suerte 12, Rosario 10, Ilagan 9, Ular 8, Digregorio 7, Ayonayon 6, David 4, Amer 3, Escoto 3, Guinto 2, Mccarthy 0, Hill 0, Banal 0. 

Quarters: 37-27, 61-54, 86-80, 115-110.

– Rappler.com 

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