ANTIPOLE – Phoenix Super LPG survived a tight end to the game on Saturday night, earning a 99-98 victory at the expense of Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Center here.
The Fuel Masters relied on import Johnathan Williams III for most of the competition and then Jason Perkins and newcomer Kenneth Tuffin in the final frame to get back into the win column and improve to a 2-1 record in the race.
“As a team, we fought hard. Basketball is a racing game. Rain or shine, they ran, but we stayed together as a team and kept fighting until the last second,” said Williams, who finished with 29 points and 18 rebounds.
Perkins and Tuffin joined hands in a 16-0 scoring frenzy in the bounty period that gave the Phoenix a cushion to neutralize the winless Painters’ spirited attempts at a comeback.
Perkins had 14 points, Tyler Tio 13 and Sean Manganti 10 as Phoenix notched a comeback victory in front of former star Matthew Wright, who was in town for a short break from his club duties with Kyoto Hannaryz in the Japan B.League .
Santi Santillan had 17 points, while Andrei Caracut scored 15 points for Rain or Shine, whose drought extended to three games.
Phoenix will have a chance to get a streak going against Blackwater on Friday next week, while the Painters could slide into a deeper hole when they battle crowd darling and defending champion Barangay Ginebra in that date’s nightcap at the Big Dome.