RJ Jazul had the game of his life in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup as the Phoenix Fuel Masters snapped the San Miguel Beermen’s four-game winning streak with a 110-101 win on Thursday, November 5.
The 10-year veteran reserve finished with a career-high 33 points off the bench built up by a staggering 9/16 clip from 3 with two assists and two steals.
With the win, Phoenix clinched a quarterfinals berth with a 6-3 record, and is now nipping on the heels of the league-leading TNT Tropang Giga and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for a possible twice-to-beat advantage.
Meanwhile, the five-time reigning Philippine Cup champion Beermen blew their chance to tie for first place, and are now fourth with a 5-3 slate, tied with the Meralco Bolts.
“We know that SMB is a championship-caliber team. They’ve been through a lot of battles,” said rookie head coach Topex Robinson.
“We’re a bit young, but we just remind everyone, even myself, to do what we prepared for, and keep our game plan.”
While San Miguel got as close as two points multiple times in the 4th quarter, Jazul always doused his opponents’ fire with a timely triple, the last coming in the final 14 ticks of regulation for the insurmountable 110-101 lead.
“RJ Jazul finally took over, because Matt [Wright] and Calvin [Abueva] were kind of guarded,” Robinson said. “It’s just nice to have those guys stepping up in these kinds of games.”
Jason Perkins provided most of his firepower in the 1st half, and finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 dimes, while Justin Chua chipped in 17 boards and 7 points.
Wright, meanwhile, was held to just 10 markers but still with 10 assists after averaging a league-best 26.6 points prior to this game.
Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Mo Tautuaa all hit their shots for San Miguel, but it was not enough to counteract Jazul’s unprecedented marksmanship down the stretch.
Tautuaa fought through foul trouble, and finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Cabagnot and Lassiter had fine outings in the losing effort as well with 20 markers apiece.
Phoenix 110 – Jazul 33, Perkins 27, Garcia 11, Wright 10, Mallari 7, Chua 7, Abueva 7, Marcelo 3, Rios 3, Intal 2, Reyes 0.
San Miguel 103 – Tautuaa 21, Cabagnot 20, Lassiter 20, Santos 11, Pessumal 10, Ross 6, Escoto 6, Gamalinda 5, Mamaril 2, Zamar 2.
Quarters: 29-22, 52-53, 75-71, 110-103.