Justin Chua scored on a pick-and-slide play with Alex Mallari at endgame, and Phoenix Pulse checked a three-game slump with a 78-76 decision over Alaska Milk in a Petron Blaze Saturday Special in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces had a chance to salvage the game but Kevin Racal’s make-or-break three-point attempt hit the side board, and thus the Fuel Masters escaped with the win, snapping their losing streak on the return of coach Louie Alas.
“We played for him (Alas). And we don’t want to be in the bottom of the standings,” said Mallari.
Mallari came through big time in the payoff period – his biggest play being that of a feed to Chua in the winning basket with 9.8 ticks to play.
It’s the first win for Phoenix since losing Calvin Abueva on an indefinite suspension on his flagrant infraction on TNT KaTropa import Terrence Jones.
Chua’s game winning basket capped a 10-point game he also laced with six rebounds and one steal against three turnovers.
Phoenix Pulse 78 – Howell 24, Mallari 15, Wright 14, Chua 10, Intal 6, Revilla 6, Perkins 2, Jazul 1, Kramer 0, Marcelo 0, Wilson 0, Dennison 0.
Alaska 76 – Banchero 18, Manuel 10, Thoss 8, Racal 8 Teng 6, Johnson 6, Casio 6, Cruz 6, Pascual 2, Enciso 2, Exciminiano 2, Ayaay 2, Galliguez 0.
Quarterscores: 16-12, 35-30, 52-50, 78-76.