Phoenix Super LPG ended their three-game losing streak by holding off a determined Terrafirma team, emerging victorious with a 104-92 win in the PBA On Tour at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City Friday night, June 23.
Reden Celda led Phoenix’s scoring efforts with 19 points, while Chris Lalata and Jayjay Alejandro played crucial roles in securing the victory after facing a spirited comeback from the Dyip.
With the win, Phoenix halted their skid and improved to an even 3-3 record, while also putting a stop to Terrafirma’s two-game winning streak, dropping them to 3-4 in the preseason series presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus.
Lalata stepped up in the absence of Raul Soyud, who was sidelined due to a foot injury, contributing 15 points and eight rebounds. He played a significant part in Phoenix’s recovery after their lead was threatened when Terrafirma trimmed a 24-point deficit to just six points at 87-93. Lalata hit two free throws and converted a drive to shift the momentum back in Phoenix’s favor.
Alejandro, primarily focused on facilitating with eight assists, took charge in the crucial moments. He scored a layup off his steal and hit a three-pointer that effectively sealed the game at 102-90 with only 57 seconds remaining.
Lalata credited the team’s composure to assistant coach Reynaldo Jacinto, who stood in for head coach Jamike Jarin. The team was instructed to stay focused and not give up. Lalata emphasized the importance of their collective effort and unity, particularly on the defensive end.
Terrafirma, missing key players such as Juami Tiongson, Isaac Go, and Andreas Cahilig, relied on Javi Gomez de Liano’s impressive performance of 23 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Eric Camson nearly recorded a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Ed Daquioag also contributed 15 points. The trio, along with Alolino’s 11 points and seven assists, spearheaded the Dyip’s comeback attempt from a 24-point deficit.
Despite Terrafirma’s efforts, Phoenix showcased their resilience and regained control of the game. The Fuel Masters capitalized on the absence of Terrafirma’s key players and seized the opportunity to secure the victory.
The win brings much-needed relief for Phoenix, who had previously suffered three consecutive defeats. Assistant coach Willie Wilson acknowledged the absence of Terrafirma’s main scorer, Juami Tiongson, as a contributing factor to their success.
Phoenix’s strong third quarter proved pivotal in establishing their largest lead at 91-67 early in the fourth quarter. Although Terrafirma mounted a late comeback and reduced the deficit to five points at 95-90 with 1:47 left, Lalata’s scoring and Alejandro’s clutch play ensured that the Fuel Masters maintained control of the contest until the final buzzer.
Phoenix’s triumph against Terrafirma not only ends their losing streak but also provides them with a boost of confidence as they aim to regain their winning momentum in the PBA On Tour.
PHOENIX 104—Celda 19, Lalata 15, Mocon 13, Camacho 12, Muyang 11, Tio 10, Rangel 8, Manganti 6, Alejandro 5, Jazul 5, Fetalvero 0, Atienza 0.
TERRAFIRMA 92—Gomez de Liano 23, Daquioag 15, Camson 15, Ramos 13, Alolino 11, Mina 11, Calvo 4, Grospe 0, Taladua 0, Alanes 0.
Quarters: 25-24, 46-40, 81-67, 104-92.