Phoenix Pulse hit the road fully loaded, and is returning to Manila guaranteed of a twice-to-beat bonus for the coming quarterfinals.
Practically all the Phoenix players played with tremendous energy and in the process pulled the rug from under titleholder San Miguel Beer, 96-93, to claim top honors in the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round.
Calvin Abueva bucked foul-trouble situation to pull big hustle plays while Matthew Wright and Simon Perkins hit the biggest shots as the Fuel Masters sustained their great rise to top the field with a 9-2 win-loss card in the elims.
In yielding this Petron Blaze Saturday Special, the Beermen dropped out of the fight for the Top Two with a 6-4 slate.
The reigning four-time all-Filipino champs are likely to settle for a spot in the pair of best-of-three quarters matchups.
With Phoenix posted at No. 1, left to dispute the No. 2 seeding in the playoffs are Rain or Shine (8-3), TNT KaTropa (6-3) and Barangay Ginebra (4-3).
Phoenix 96 – Wright 25, Mallari 12, Perkins 10, Chua 9, Kramer 9, Jazul 8, Dennison 7, Revilla 5, Mendoza 4, Abueva 4, Marcelo 3.
San Miguel 93 – Fajardo 29, Cabagnot 17, Romeo 15, Santos 14, Lassiter 7, Nabong 5, Ross 4, Pessumal 2, Mamaril 0, Tubid 0, Rosser 0.
Quarterscores: 33-19, 49-46, 74-70, 96-93.