Phoenix blows lead, outlasts Ginebra in double OT
Phoenix held on to outlast Barangay Ginebra, 103-98, in double overtime in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters improved to 3-2 to get to the fourth spot while sending the Gin Kings to their third loss in four games.
With Phoenix protecting a precarious one-point lead, Justin Chua hit a high-arching one-hander over Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar for a 101-98 cushion with 41 seconds left.
Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio, two of league’s premier guards, made back-to-back turnovers off errant passes intended for Joe Devance midway through the second overtime.
“We needed that game and that was a big game for us,” said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas. “I told them that if we don’t do a better job at toughness, especially on our mental toughness, we won’t get anything from this game.”
Japeth Aguilar sent he game to overtime after hitting a 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds left in regulation but he made crucial blunders in the two extra periods.
Ginebra’s lanky power forward missed an open layup with five seconds left that would’ve won the game in the first overtime. He also failed to secure a rebound that led to Chua’s big basket before air-balling a shot in the ensuing play that would’ve trimmed the deficit to one.
The Fuel Masters blew a 46-30 lead after they allowed the Gin Kings to go on a 32-18 scoring outburst in the third quarter.
Eugene Phelps, who momentarily replaced the injured James White, led Phoenix with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists despite dealing with cramps while Jeff Chan put up 22 points on 5-of-11 shooting from deep.
Matthew Wright struggled in the first three quarters but picked his game up late to finish with 19 points, 11 coming in the fourth and overtime periods, and 10 boards.
Aguilar finished with 25 points to lead Ginebra’s scorers while Charles Garcia had a 19-point, 18-rebound double-double before fouling out in regulation.
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