Impressive Phoenix outing puts NLEX on the ropes
Paul Lintag on Jan 18, 2017 09:37 PM
Simon Enciso and the rest of the Fuel Masters rode a fiery second half effort to down NLEX.
The Philippine Cup woes continue for NLEX.
Phoenix caught fire in the second half and simply burned the Road Warriors, 102-91, Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Looking to get out of a four-team logjam for the 6th-9th spots in the standings, the Fuel Masters used a big third-quarter effort to blow the game wide open against a struggling NLEX team that has now lost seven out of its last eight games.
With the win, Phoenix created a new three-team tie with Blackwater and TNT for the 4th-6th spots, sporting identical 5-4 marks.
But the tie is not a cause for celebration though.
"There's nothing to celebrate pa dahil yung mga ka-tie namin tinalo kami," head coach Ariel Vanguardia said talking about the Elite and the KaTropa.
"Right now, we are victrually tied with them but we are still in seventh or eight place," he added.
After a rough first half, the Fuel Masters exploded in the third quarter behind the efforts of JC Intal and Simon Enciso and went on to outscore the Road Warriors by 13, 28-15.
Enciso finished with a team-high 21 points, built around five treys, five rebounds, and four assists for Phoenix while Intal added 12. Cyrus Baguio came off the bench to drop 13.
Rookie Matthew Wright almost had his first career triple-double after posting 12 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, and Willie Wilson returned from sickness to chip in another 12 markers.
As for NLEX, who now has lost all seven of its games by double digits, only Sean Anthony served as the bright spot as the forward tallied 23 points and eight boards.
PHOENIX 102 - Enciso 21, Intal 16, Baguio 13, W. Wilson 12, Wright 12, Borboran 7, Lanete 7, Miranda 5, Torres 5, J.Wilson 2, Caperal 2.
NLEX 91 - Anthony 23, J. Villanueva 11, Soyud 10, Guinto 9, Alas 8, Rios 6, Lanete 6, Taulava 4, Khobuntin 3, Lastimosa 3, Monfort 3, Camson 2, E. Villanueva 2, Gotladera 1, Baracael 0.
Quarters: 20-22, 53-48, 81-63, 102-91
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