PBA: No. 1 Phoenix advances to first-ever semis after crushing Alaska
Paul Lintag on Apr 07, 2019 09:06 PM
Phoenix will meet a PBA Perpetual Champion in the best-of-7 semifinals as the Fuel Masters are in the bracket with TNT and defending four-time champion San Miguel Beer.
It’s a day of firsts for no. 1 Phoenix.
The top-ranked Fuel Masters have advanced to their first-ever PBA semifinals after destroying Alaska Sunday at the MOA Arena, picking up a convincing 91-76 win in the 2019 Philippine Cup quarters.
In dominating the Aces and making it to the next round, Phoenix also got its first playoff win in franchise history. The Fuel Masters were 0-6 prior to today.
Phoenix will meet a PBA Perpetual Champion in the best-of-7 semifinals as the Fuel Masters are in the same bracket with TNT and defending four-time champion San Miguel Beer.
“Finally,” said head coach Louie Alas.
“We just got into the semifinals. We’re waiting for the TNT and SMB winner, both heavyweights. Pero di ako nagco-complain. Semis na kami, first in franchise history, then first win sa playoffs. We’re more than happy,” he added.
Gaining separation in the second quarter, Phoenix dropped the hammer in the third as an 11-0 run opened up a 72-49 lead.
The Fuel Masters extended that to 28 in the fourth quarter, 89-61, before cruising to victory.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Jason Perkins was dominant, scoring a career-high 31 points on top of nine rebounds. Perkins scored 13 in the second period that allowed Phoenix to break away from the Aces.
Matthew Wright added 14 for the Fuel Masters while Calvin Abueva was good for 12.
For the Aces, they’re one and done in the playoffs after making a Finals run in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
Jvee Casio led Alaska with 19 while Simon Enciso chipped in 15 points to no avail.
Phoenix 91 - Perkins 31, Wright 14, Abueva 12, Jazul 6, Mendoza 6, Chua 6, Revilla 6, Kramer 5, Marcelo 3, Mallari 2, Intal 0, Guevarra 0, Gamboa 0, Napoles 0, Dennison 0.
Alaska 76 - Casio 19, Enciso 15, Teng 12, Galliguez 6, Banchero 6, Cruz 4, Baclao 4, Ayaay 3, Thoss 2, Exciminiano 2, Racal 1, Babilonia 0.
Quarters: 18-15, 47-35, 72-49, 91-76.
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