Phoenix caged the “Baby Beast” and the rest of hard-luck Columbian to fashion a 108-98 victory Wednesday and grab the PBA Philippine Cup’s early lead at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Matthew Wright, Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins and LA Revilla took turns spearheading the offense while veteran JC Intal led the Fuel Masters’ defense that prevented CJ Perez from following up his explosive pro debut.
As a result, Phoenix completed the wire-to-wire win and stayed unbeaten after three games, its best start since joining the league midway in the 2015-16 season.
Yet coach Louie Alas was far from fully pleased after his charges failed to hang on to a 40-21 lead early in the second quarter.
“Kapag nag-li-lead kami ng double figures, bumabalik sa old habit na mag-re-rely kami sa offensive firepower,” said Alas.
The 3-0 start is something of a surprise for Alas but he now hopes his team could build on it during the 10-day break it takes before facing Blackwater next.
Phoenix 108 – Wright 22, Abueva 16, Perkins 14, Intal 13, Revilla 12, Kramer 8, Marcelo 7, Jazul 6, Chua 4, Mendoza 2, Napoles 2, Dennison 2, Mallari 0.
Columbian 98 – Calvo 18, Camson 13, Corpuz 13, McCarthy 10, Perez 10, Reyes 9, Celda 9, Escoto 8, Khobuntin 6, Agovida 2, Cahilig 0, Cabrera 0, Tabi 0.
Quarterscores: 24-14, 53-47, 82-72, 108-98.