PBA: Phoenix books No.2 seed, rallies past Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines — Phoenix clinched the second spot after battling back to beat Rain or Shine, 90-88, at the end of the Philippine Cup eliminations Wednesday night at AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Angeles, Pampanga.
The Fuel Masters rose from 16 points down in the fourth quarter behind Jason Perkins, who scored 10 of his game-high 30 points in the final period.
Perkins, who went 13-of-19 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds, hit the go-ahead basket, 86-85, with 33.1 seconds left before Calvin Abueva’s gimme extended it to 88-85 with 12.6 ticks to go.
“Again, getting number is just a byproduct of what we’ve worked for,” said Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson. “We know that it’s gonna be a big challenge for us from here on.”
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“If teams don’t wanna take number two, we’re always gonna take it, we’re always gonna fight for it. Whoever we face down the stretch, we’re always gonna make sure that we’re gonna give our best,” added Robinson, whose team—armed with a twice-to-beat advantage—will take on a dangerous Magnolia side in the quarterfinals.
The No. 7 Hotshots are the hottest team in the league having won their last six games.
Javee Mocon missed a potential game-tying triple for the Elasto Painters before Justin Chua sank two free throws to put the game out of reach with 4.2 seconds remaining.
Chua registered a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Mocon had 13 points for the Painters, who will face top seed Barangay Ginebra in the quarters on Friday.
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