PBA D-League: Phoenix escapes tough Blustar
Phoenix evaded a huge scare and squeezed past Blustar Detergent, 97-94, Thursday in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Ed Daquioag picked up the slack for the Accelerators, unloading 13 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter as they staved off the Dragons who are playing their third straight game.
Mike Tolomia also fired 20 markers, including the go-ahead jumper from the right elbow to break the 92-all deadlock with 31.9 ticks left, to go with his eight rebounds.
“Yun ang in-address ko sa kanila kanina ng halftime, hindi ko nakikita yung Phoenix na kilala ko. You better check your heart kasi sobrang complacent natin,” said a frustrated coach Eric Gonzales. “Tinry naman nila mag-step up ng third and fourth quarters, pero binigyan na nila ng confidence yung kalaban eh.”
Phoenix had to survive the Malaysian uprising without Mac Belo, who was ejected with 10.1 seconds left in the first quarter after he hit Chun Hung Ting with an elbow over the shoulders that warranted a flagrant 2.
That left the Accelerators without one of their top gunners as they trailed early, 59-52, in the third frame before restoring order.
The defending Aspirants’ Cup champions have struggled to find their form for the past three games, though they have kept a clean slate at 4-0.
“Three games na namin yan nao-obserbahan, parang human tendency rin eh. Yung good news lang is kahit paano naitawid namin yung panalo. Work in progress pa rin kami and it’s something we have to work on, yung fire ng players.”
Juami Tiongson topped the Malaysia-based Blustar with 34 points, five assists, and four rebounds in his first game back from an arm injury, but his game-tying triple at the buzzer fell way off as the Dragons dropped to 0-3.
Kuek Tian Yuan almost had a double-double with 21 markers and nine boards.
PHOENIX 97 – Daquioag 25, Tolomia 20, Jamito 19, Pogoy 10, Escoto 6, Tamsi 5, Mendoza 4, Andrada 3, Batino 2, Belo 2, Pascual 1, Inigo 0, Knuttel 0.
BLUSTAR 94 – Tiongson 34, Kuek 21, Ting 12, Ma 11, Choo 5, Teo 5, Liaw 3, Wong 3, Mak 0, Ong 0, Palma 0.
Quarters: 23-23, 48-47, 72-73, 97-94.
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