MANILA – Jason Perkins came up with go-ahead baskets as Phoenix Fuel Masters cruised to an 89-87 win over Magnolia Hotshots in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Trailing 85-87 after a three-point play by Hotshots’ Paul Lee, Perkins answered back with a three-pointer to surge the Fuel Masters ahead 88-87. He then converted a free throw with six seconds left to extend the lead to 89-87.
Perkins, the 2018 PBA Rookie of the Year, finished the match with 12 points and seven rebounds for the Fuel Masters, which solidified its hold on the top spot in the standings with 8-1 win-loss slate.
Calvin Abueva finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Rafael Joey Jazul and Matthew Wright added 19 and 14 markers, respectively, for the Fuel Masters.
Down by as much as 17 points, the Fuel Masters began its run in the third period behind Abueva, Jazul and Wright to come to within 73-75. The Hotshots, however, pulled away again at 84-79 on inside hits from Rafael Reavis.
Wright responded with a three-point play and a triple to surge the Fuel Masters ahead at 85-84 with 47 seconds left but the Hotshots regained the edge for the last time on a three-point play by Lee with 33 ticks left.
Lee and Andy Mark Barroca finished with 16 points apiece, while Jiovani Jalalon finished with 11 markers and nine assists for the Hotshots, which dropped to 1-4 win-loss slate.
In the first game, Columbian Dyip asserted its mastery on the slumping Rain or Shine Elasto Painters with an 85-82 victory to improve its chances of making it to the playoffs round.
Holding to a slim 42-40 lead at the half, the Dyip had a strong start in the third period on back-to-back triples by Rashawn McCarthy for its largest at 66-57 on inside hits by Jeepy Faundo and Glenn Khobuntin.
The Painters countered with a run to tie the score at 73-all but Dyip were quick to restore order at 83-79. Rain or Shine made its last push at 82-83 on a triple by Gabriel Norwood but Columbian tightened its defense to preserve the win.
McCarthy led the way with 22 points, including five triples, while Jackson Corpuz added 12 markers for the Dyip (4-5). Mark Borboran tallied conference-high 21 points for the Painters (7-3)./PN