THE Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters leaned on the energy and hustle of Calvin Abueva and Jason Perkins to eke out a 110-103 win over the TNT Tropang Giga in Game Two of the best-of-five semifinals series in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.
The win evened the series up at 1-1 with Game Three slated on Sunday.
Phoenix led by as much as 18 but TNT fought back and regained the advantage, 92-90 with 5:15 remaining. However, the Fuel Masters kept their composure and answered with eight straight points — three free-throws from Abueva, a layup from Perkins and a triple from Alex Mallari — to retake the lead, 98-92.
TNT pulled to within four, 97-101, but Phoenix put the game away, thanks to Perkins who scored a lay-up and two free-throws and RR Garcia, who scored an unmolested layup to push their lead to 10, 107-97, with just 46 seconds left.
Perkins led Phoenix in scoring with 21 points while Abueva collected 20 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals. The duo’s contributions made up for the measly two-point performance of top gunner Matthew Wright. Still hobbled by the sprained ankle he suffered in Game One, the 29-year old played just 15 minutes.
Justin Chua added 18, RJ Jazul fired in 16, Garcia had 12 while Cebuano guard Brian Heruela tallied 10 for Phoenix.
The loss spoiled the incredible 41-point performance of TNT wingman Bobby Ray Parks. The left-handed guard, who drained 10 three-pointers in Game Two, was not able to finish the game as he fouled out in the fourth quarter. (JNP)