PBA: Phoenix holds on against Blackwater despite losing 22-point lead
Paul Lintag on Apr 25, 2018 09:29 PM
Import James White came up clutch for the Fuel Masters as his follow-up, two-hand slam gave Phoenix a 100-98 lead with 1:41 to go. (PBA Images)
Phoenix's first win of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup didn't come easy.
The Fuel Masters had to fight off a charging Blackwater Elite to score a 107-102 victory Wednesday at the Big Dome, starting off the mid-season joust on the winning column.
Phoenix lost a 22-point lead and was tied with Blackwater inside the lost two minutes.
Fortunately, import James White came up clutch for the Fuel Masters as his follow-up, two-hand slam gave Phoenix a 100-98 lead with 1:41 to go.
Willie Wilson then completed an and-one play 20 seconds later to give the Fuel Masters the room they needed to hold on.
"Very hard win yun guys but we'll take it," head coach Louie Alas said.
"Good character ano kasi we're playing Saturday against TNT," he added.
Phoenix didn't waste any time establishig control against the Elite, opening up a 31-17 lead in the first period.
The Fuel Masters led by as many as 22 points, 42-20, in the first half before the Elite started to come back.
Blackwater had several chances of taking over but never did take the lead as White was all over the floor hitting timely baskets.
The 24-year-old import, in his thrid tour of duty in the PBA, fired 31 points on top of 14 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks.
Backing him up was Matthew Wright with 19 points and eight assists while Justin Chua finished with a career-high 17 points.
For the Elite, who dropped to 0-2, it was Roi Sumang that led the way with 20 markers. Import Jarrid Famous and Mac Belo scored 19 each.
Phoenix (107) -- White 31, Wright 19, Chua 17, Chan 11, Wilson 10, Jazul 9, Revilla 3, Mendoza 3, Perkins 2, Kramer 2, Eriobu 0
Blackwater (102) -- Sumang 20, Famous 19, Belo 19, Maliksi 11, DiGregorio 11, Palma 7, Erram 6, Jose 6, Pinto 3, Marcelo 0, Sena 0
Quarter Scores: 31-17, 56-39, 75-69, 107-102
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8