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Phoenix Super LPG claims sixth straight win by beating NorthPort, 113-104

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The Phoenix Super LPG continued their scorching run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, notching their sixth consecutive victory by overcoming a resilient NorthPort crew, 113-104, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, December 20, 2023.

Johnathan Williams, the former NBA campaigner, emerged as the catalyst for Phoenix’s triumph, nearly recording a triple-double with an outstanding performance. 

Williams poured in 38 points, with 11 crucial points coming in a decisive 13-2 run during the fourth quarter. This surge propelled the Fuel Masters from a 91-93 deficit to secure a crucial win in their pursuit of a coveted top-four finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the upcoming quarterfinals.

Despite committing seven turnovers, Williams acknowledged NorthPort’s tenacity, giving credit to their well-executed game plan. “I want to take my hat off to NorthPort; they came up with a great game plan and executed it all game long. I understand why they are 5 and 3. So I respect them; they have a great game plan,” remarked Williams.

Phoenix’s head coach, Jamike Jarin’s chief assistant, Jon Jacinto, commended the team’s defensive effort in the second half, emphasizing the players’ ability to step up, especially in the absence of key players like Jason Perkins and Raul Soyud.

The absence of Perkins and Soyud made Phoenix’s latest triumph even more impressive, highlighting the team’s depth and resilience. Ken Tuffin, Tyler Tio, Larry Muyang, and Javee Mocon collectively contributed 47 points, 21 rebounds, and 12 assists, filling the void left by the missing key players.

Lady luck also played a role in Phoenix’s victory as NorthPort’s import, Venky Jois, experienced cramps in his right leg, forcing him to exit the game with 6:31 remaining. Although he returned in the final minutes, Jois struggled to make a significant impact. He finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists as NorthPort absorbed their second consecutive loss, dropping to a 5-4 slate.

Arvin Tolentino, coming off the bench, provided a spark for NorthPort with 19 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the surging Fuel Masters.

With the win, Phoenix Super LPG improved their overall record to an impressive 7-1, solidifying their position in the race for a top-four finish. As the Commissioner’s Cup unfolds, the Fuel Masters look poised for a deep playoff run, showcasing resilience, teamwork, and the firepower needed to contend for the championship.

The boxscores

Phoenix 113 – Williams38, Tuffin 15, Tio 14, Muyang 10, Mocon 8, Rivero 8, Alejandro 6, Jazul 6, Garcia 4, Verano 3, Manganti 1, Camacho 0, Lalata 0, Daves 0.

NorthPort 104 – Jois 27, Tolentino 19, Munzon 13, Flores 12, Calma 11, Zamar 7, Bulanadi 6, Chan 3, Amores 3, Paraiso 2, Caperal 1, Yu 0, Rosales 0, Adamos 0.

Quarters: 26-28, 56-60, 87-89, 113-104

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