Top seed Phoenix secures first ever semis berth, rips Alaska
MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix finally won in the playoffs and its breakthrough victory also propelled it to a maiden trip to the semifinals.
The top-seeded Fuel Masters ripped the Alaska Aces, 91-76, in their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals matchup Sunday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
Jason Perkins had a field day, scoring a career-high 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field on top of nine rebounds and a block for Phoenix, which was 0-6 in the playoffs prior to the game.
“We just got to the semifinals and we’re waiting for San Miguel and TNT who are both heavyweight teams,” said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas, who was a former assistant coach at Alaska. “But we’re not complaining. We won our first game in the playoffs and we made the semis for the first time so we’re more than happy.”
The Fuel Masters went on a roll in the middle quarters where they dominated the Aces, 45-21, to take a commanding 72-49 lead heading into the final frame.
Calvin Abueva added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Matthew Wright had 14 on a cold shooting night that went with four rebounds and six assists for Phoenix.
JVee Casio scored 19 points for the Aces, who needed to beat NLEX in a knockout game just to make the playoffs as the eighth seed.