PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Fast-rising Phoenix rides Ken Tuffin three-point barrage to escape Ginebra

JR Isaga

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Fast-rising Phoenix rides Ken Tuffin three-point barrage to escape Ginebra

MARKSMAN. Phoenix forward Ken Tuffin attempts a jump shot over the Ginebra defense in the 2023 PBA Commissioner's Cup

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Fil-Kiwi rookie Ken Tuffin showcases his range alongside import Johnathan Williams as red-hot Phoenix wins its fifth straight game off an escape of Ginebra in Batangas

MANILA, Philippines – Ken Tuffin had the best game of his young PBA career as his three-point barrage lifted red-hot Phoenix to an 82-77 win over favored Ginebra in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at San Jose, Batangas, on Saturday, December 9.

The Fil-Kiwi forward tallied 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting and 4-of-10 from three in the narrow escape, perfectly complementing import Johnathan Williams’ 24-point, 23-rebound eruption.

With the win, Phoenix kept hold of second place behind undefeated Magnolia with a 6-1 record off its fifth straight win, while Ginebra fell to a 4-2 slate, snapping a three-game rise.

Staring at a 72-80 hole in the final 2:40 of regulation after Tuffin’s fourth and final trey, Ginebra still showed a champion’s composure as LA Tenorio responded from deep with 2:19 to play, 75-80, followed by a Tony Bishop jumper with 26 ticks left to get within one possession, 77-80.

Off a timeout, Jason Perkins gave the Gin Kings one last shot to complete the comeback with a turnover at the 18-second mark, but Bishop missed the go-ahead triple with 2 seconds left, leading to a Williams rebound and two game-winning free throws off the duty foul.

Bishop paced the loss with 21 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 assists, backstopped by a 20-point, 15-board double-double from Jamie Malonzo.

Christian Standhardinger was the only other Ginebra player in double-digit scoring with 12 points, as Maverick Ahanmisi was silenced to just 4 points on 1-of-8 shooting.

The Scores

Phoenix 82 – Williams 24, Tuffin 18, Alejandro 10, Perkins 9, Tio 7, Muyang 7, Jazul 3, Garcia 2, Rivero 2, Manganti 0, Soyud 0, Mocon 0, Daves 0, Camacho 0, Verano 0.

Ginebra 77 – Bishop 21, Malonzo 20, Standhardinger 12, Cu 6, Tenorio 5, J.Aguilar 5, Ahanmisi 4, Pinto 3, Pringle 1.

Quarters: 22-20, 36-43, 58-63, 82-77

– Rappler.com

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