THE Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters came back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to nip the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 90-88, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
The win was crucial for Phoenix as it pulled their record to 8-3, which is enough to grab the second seed that has a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals pinned to it.
For a while though, it seemed like the Fuel Masters were in danger of not only losing the game but also their hold of the second spot as they fell behind by 14, 78-64, in the early goings of the fourth quarter.
However, Phoenix kept at it and rode the timely shooting of RJ Jazul and Justin Chua who hit three straight three-pointers that pulled them to within one, 84-85, with 1:25 remaining. After Rain or Shine failed to convert on the other end, Jason Perkins hustled to get a rebound and putback to shove the Fuel Masters in front, 86-85, time down to 38 seconds.
After a missed trey by Rain or Shine’s James Yap, Calvin Abueva scored an unmolested layup to bring Phoenix’s lead to three, 88-85, with just 12 ticks left on the clock. Rain or Shine had one last shot at tying the game but Javee Mocon’s three-point try fell short and Chua made two free-throws to secure the victory for Phoenix.
Perkins had a monster game for Phoenix with 30 points and eight rebounds. Chua also had a fantastic outing with 21 points and 10 boards. The team’s leading scorer, Matthew Wright, was silent all game long and was held down to just 11 points but distributed the ball well, piling up eight assists.
Rain or Shine dropped to 6-5, which was good for the eighth seed, to seal a quarterfinal date with the top-seeded Barangay Ginebra.