Intal-led Phoenix shocks San Miguel for first win
ANTIPOLO—Phoenix went toe-to-toe with powerhouse San Miguel and scored a 92-85 shocker over the defending champions in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Ynares Center here.
The Fuel Masters’ upset victory scored them a 1-1 record, the same slate as the Beermen’s.
Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia said their win served a statement that his team can contend with the bigger clubs in the league.
“Napatunayan namin sa isa’t isa na kaya pala, (We proved to ourselves that we can) we can contend, we can compete with this team,” said Vanguardia. “When they [the Beermen] switched the switch in the fourth we had a big enough lead.”
Phoenix established a 79-65 lead in the fourth after but San Miguel mustered on and cut the deficit to one, 85-84, when reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo muscled his way to the paint with 1:52 remaining.
JC Intal, however, was determined to give Phoenix the victory as he hit the Beermen with five unanswered points to put the Fuel Masters up, 90-84, with 44.9 seconds remaining.
“We have veterans in the team and we put them inside, and JC hit big shots,” said Vanguardia.
Intal had a game-high 22 points to lead Phoenix while Simon Enciso’s third quarter eruption earned him 15 points, all coming from the penultimate period.
Rookies Matthew Wright and Gelo Alolino also proved their worth as they combined for 27 points.
Fajardo had a double-double with 19 points and 23 rebounds to lead San Miguel.
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