PHOENIX Fuel Masters will go for an all-important win against the San Miguel Beermen tonight in Panabo City, Davao del Norte as it aims to secure a top-two finish in the ongoing 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup.
Actually, the Fuel Masters had the opportunity to seize the top seed on Sunday evening but it suffered a 97-100 defeat at the hands of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings.
Fuel Masters head coach Francisco Luis Alas, however, remains confident his boys can get the top two seeding along with the “twice-to-beat” advantage with still a game to go and with them toting an 8-2 win-loss slate.
“Masyadong nag-relax kami defensively (against Ginebra). Akala namin tatalunin namin sa opensa,” said Alas. “Iyon ‘yung sinasabi ko sa kanila before. We thought na tatalunin namin (ang Ginebra) sa shootout.”
“Ang sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Iyung panalo nating walo, isa lang ‘yung opensa du’n. Lahat depensa,” he added. “But ang maganda lang diyan ay our faith is in our hands.”
However, Alas said they are in a must-win situation against the defending champions Beermen which won its last four matches, to avoid playoffs complications.
If ever the Fuel Masters, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (currently at 7-3 pending their game against Meralco Bolts last night) and the Beermen (now with 6-3 pending their game against Fuel Masters and Alaska Aces), Phoenix will be relegated to No. 3.
“P’wede kaming mawala kapag nag-tie kami at 8-3 ng Rain or Shine and San Miguel,” Alas said. “Kaya ang goal talaga namin ay manalo against San Miguel but it is easier said than done.”
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings guard Lewis Alfred Tenorio is set to claim the tag as the newest PBA “Iron Man” after playing his 596th straight PBA game during Kings’ 100-97 win over Phoenix Fuel Masters on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Tenorio, who was also a fixture in Gilas Pilipinas since entering the PBA in 2006, said that he does not intend to slow down and will keep on playing as long as he can.
“It doesn’t matter kung anong number as long as I can play, I will play,” Tenorio said. “Parang nasuklian ‘yung all the hard work, discipline and sacrifices na ginawa ko, nagbubunga,”
“Sana ‘yung legacy na maiiwan ko sa basketball o sa PBA o sa profession natin is maging inspirasyon ako sa mga aspiring basketball players para makarating sa ganitong sitwasyon,” he added.
The former Ateneo Blue Eagles guard, who is currently tied with retired PBA cager and now Magnolia Hotshots team manager Alvin Patrimonio, will achieve the feat when the Kings takes on the Hotshots on Sunday./PN