Phoenix earns quarterfinals berth, beats Ginebra
Phoenix clinched a quarterfinals seat with a wire-to-wire win over Barangay Ginebra, 79-73, Sunday in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup at Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The win pushed the Fuel Masters to solo second with a 6-4 card.
“We proved to ourselves that we can defend. We take some pride in our defense,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia.
Phoenix limited Ginebra to only 2-of-22 shooting from threes while also holding the Gin Kings to a measly 35 percent clip from the field.
Matthew Wright topped the Fuel Masters with 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while JC Intal tallied a double-double with 16 markers and 10 boards.
Willy Wilson had 10 points to go with 12 rebounds while Simon Enciso had 11.
With Phoenix holding a 12-point lead, Ginebra fought back and pulled to within six, 73-67, on a Joe Devance basket at the 3:20 mark, but Intal and Enciso drained back-to-back threes with 1:49 left to play to bring the lead back to 10, 79-69.
Ginebra fell to an even 5-5 slate, good for a share of seventh place with Blackwater.
“I’ve been looking forward to having a chance to coach against coach Tim. He’s the winningest coach in the PBA. You cannot outcoach him but I told my guys you got to help me outwork them. And today, they did,” said Vanguardia.
Tenorio finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Gin Kings, while Scottie Thompson collected 10 markers and eight rebounds.
Ginebra missed the services of Japeth Aguilar, who is recovering from a hyperextended right elbow.