PBA: Phoenix sends Converge to dismal 0-5 start with tight win
MANILA, Philippines–Phoenix Super LPG kept it together in the most critical times to escape desperate Converge by the skin of its teeth, 99-98, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday.
Kenneth Tuffin hit the go-ahead basket off a Jason Perkins dime to preserve the efforts of import Johnathan Williams III and fellow rookie Ricci Rivero, and ultimately help the Fuel Masters to their fourth straight victory in the race.
“This is our third game in a week so we were expecting to be a little tired. So it’s fortunate that after 48 minutes we got the victory,” said head coach Jamike Jarin during the post-game presser at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
“It took an entire unit, an entire win to get the win. They made a lot of runs to win the game but we stuck together,” added the Phoenix reinforcement.
Melecio for the win… no good!
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) December 2, 2023
Williams III finished with 27 points, 16 rebounds spiked with a pair of two steals and two blocks. Perkins added 20 into the scoring effort while Rivero 12 as the club improved to a 5-1 mark—just second behind unbeaten Magnolia.
Buoyed by the heroics of import Tom Vodanovich, the FiberXers came oh-so-close to ending their winless start. Alun Melecio had one last look to end that drought but his shot was a tad too short, thus sending his squad deeper into a 0-5 hole.
Vodanovic had 35 points and nine rebounds, Schonny Winston tossed in 15 more while three others also finished with twin-digit scores.
Phoenix will have its work cut out for itself when it takes on defending champion Barangay Ginebra next. The two sides tangle on Dec. 9.
Converge, meanwhile, will try to arrest its slide against dangerous NorthPort on Dec. 6.