PBA Season 43 Preview: Retooled Phoenix looks to make noise with guard-heavy roster
Head Coach: Louie Alas
Key Players: Matthew Wright, JC Intal, RJ Jazul
Key Additions: LA Revilla, Jason Perkins
Key Losses: Michael Miranda, John Wilson
It seems like the pieces that Phoenix has fit the team perfectly heading into the new PBA season.
The Fuel Masters have a slew of point guards in Gelo Alolino, Karl Dehesa, RJ Jazul and offseason acquisition LA Revilla. They also drafted a versatile player in Jason Perkins.
Phoenix head coach Louie Alas believes he has the tools to make noise beginning with the 2018 Philippine Cup set to open on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“The system that we put up is really meant to have a lot of guards because our defensive schemes are guard-oriented,” said Alas, who was appointed as head coach late October to replace Ariel Vanguardia.
Having four reliable playmakers will be one of Phoenix’s strengths in the coming season.
At 6-foot-2, Dehesa gives Phoenix size in the backcourt, Alolino has also come into his own since being drafted in 2016 while Jazul and Revilla have proven themselves to be leaders on the floor.
The four bring their own identity on the floor but all can shoot from downtown, giving the Fuel Masters space on the floor.
Alas also has high praise for his rookie Perkins, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 PBA Draft.
The 6-foot-3 Perkins, who won two UAAP championships as a key member of the De La Salle Green Archers, was solid in the preseason where Phoenix went 2-1 with wins over NLEX and Alaska.
“I really feel that we picked the right guy. He doesn’t play like a rookie and he really has PBA body,” Alas said.
Phoenix looks to finally get past the quarterfinals for the first time and rebound from a woeful stint in the 2017 Governors’ Cup where it missed the playoffs after registering a 2-9 record.
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