May 24, 2024

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Kenneth Tuffin shines as Phoenix Super LPG clobbers Converge, 113-107

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STEPPING UP. Kenneth Tuffin rises to the occasion when it matters most, leading Phoenix Super LPG’s 113-107 win against Converge FiberXers in the PBA Philippine Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Friday night, April 12. PBA PHOTO

Kenneth Tuffin emerged as the unlikely hero, guiding Phoenix Super LPG to a hard-fought 113-107 victory over a resilient Converge squad in the PBA Philippine Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Friday night, April 12.

Tuffin, displaying poise beyond his years, delivered a clutch performance when it mattered most, scoring nine of his 16 points and grabbing four crucial rebounds in the decisive fourth quarter. 

With Phoenix clinging to a precarious 103-100 lead and momentum shifting in favor of Converge, the 26-year-old rookie stepped up to the challenge, igniting an 8-0 run with a timely three-pointer, a determined drive to the basket, and two crucial free throws. His stellar play not only halted Phoenix’s two-game losing streak but also propelled them to a hard-earned victory, improving their record to 2-4 for the season.

Willy Wilson, filling in for head coach Jamike Jarin, praised his team’s resilience in overcoming a late-game scare, acknowledging the tendency to lose focus after building a comfortable lead. 

Wilson emphasized the importance of maintaining their identity and staying composed under pressure, factors that ultimately paved the way for their victory.

Contributing significantly to Phoenix’s triumph was the standout performance of Jason Perkins, who registered a double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds. 

Ricci Rivero also made key contributions with 16 points, including a crucial scoring burst in the third quarter that helped Phoenix seize control of the game.

Despite the valiant efforts of Converge, led by the impressive performances of Justin Arana and Alec Stockton, the FiberXers were unable to secure their first win of the season, falling to a disappointing 0-7 record. 

Arana delivered a career-high 32 points and 16 rebounds, while Stockton added 31 points and seven boards, marking a historic milestone for the young franchise. However, their standout efforts were not enough to overcome Phoenix’s determined resolve down the stretch.

In the end, it was Phoenix’s composure and collective effort that proved decisive, as they weathered Converge’s late-game surge and emerged victorious. Despite the setback, Converge showcased their potential with a spirited performance, signaling hope for brighter days ahead under the guidance of coach Aldin Ayo.

As both teams reflect on their performances, Phoenix celebrates a much-needed win to boost their playoff aspirations, while Converge looks to build on their promising display as they continue their quest for their first victory of the season. In a game defined by resilience and determination, Kenneth Tuffin and the Phoenix Super LPG squad emerged victorious, reaffirming their status as contenders in the fiercely competitive PBA Philippine Cup.

The boxscores:

Phoenix 113 – Perkins 26, Rivero 17, Tuffin 16, Daves 11, Alejandro 10, Mocon 9, Lalata 7, Salado 6, Muyang 3, Manganti 3, Verano 2, Jazul 1, Camacho 0.

Converge 107 – Arana 32, Stockton 31, Santos 11, Delos Santos 8, Winston 8, Caralipio 7, Andrade 3, Ambohot 3, Fornilos 2, Fleming 2, Maagdenberg 0, Melecio 0, Nieto 0, Zaldivar 0.

Quarterscores: 23-27, 50-50, 86-73, 113-107

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