Phoenix scores; SMB still hot  

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Phoenix scores; SMB still hot  
Jason Perkins.
PBA media bureau

MANILA, Philippines — The Fuel Masters used a well-balanced attack and stifling defense to create separation from the Dyip, who couldn’t keep in step with a decimated crew in this matchup of 0-2 teams.

While big guns Jason Perkins (17 points, nine rebounds, five assists), Matthew Wright (11 markers, 10 dimes) and Javee Mocon (10-10) delivered to expectations, the support crew more than did their share in the 23-point rout.

Sean Anthony, in his Phoenix debut, had 12 rebounds to go with his nine markers even as RJ Jazul and youngsters Aljun Melecio, Tyler Tio and Encho Serrano combined for 36.

Later, unbeaten San Miguel Beer bucked the early exits of Vic Manuel (calf) and Chris Ross (knee) to injuries to defeat Magnolia, 87-81, and grab the solo lead at 3-0.

The Beermen held the Hotshots scoreless in the last 42 seconds to stay perfect and send their victims spiraling to 1-3.

Joseph Gabayni and Aldrech Ramos carried the cudgels for Terrafirma (0-3), which battled without injured mainstays Isaac Go (ACL, MCL and meniscus tears on right knee), Ed Daquioag (right fibular fracture) and Eric Camson (back spasms).

“As much as possible, we don’t want to go down deep into that bottom standings so this is big for us,” said Phoenix coach Topex Robinson.

“We knew how deadly the Dyip were if we took it easy against them. One thing that worked for us was we really clamped down on defense and let our offense take care of itself.”

Robinson’s troops choked the Dyip to a lowly 4-of-23 clip (17.4 percent) in the second quarter to break the game open, 44-24.  Smelling blood, the Fuel Masters opened the third with 15 unanswered points to widen the gap to 35.

Perkins dished out his stellar performance despite facing a family emergency back in the US.

Meanwhile, TNT goes into battle in the PBA 3x3 Third Conference Leg 5 today at the Robinsons Place Antipolo with the same mindset that has led to three leg titles in the ongoing tournament.

“Hardwork. Tuloy-tuloy lang iyung ginagawa namin (from the past legs),” said TNT gunslinger Almond Vosotros as the Tropang Giga seek to continue their winning ways in the penultimate stop of the season-ending conference.

Vosotros joins forces with Samboy de Leon, Gryan Mendoza and Rey Mark Acuno in targeting a third consecutive leg victory and fourth overall in the conference.

The Mau Belen-coached Tropang Giga plunge into action at 10 a.m. against Meralco, the only other team to get a win in Leg 2, in the opener of a 14-game bill.

TNT and Meralco lead the competitors in Pool A with the Sista Super Sealers and Zamboanga Valientes as groupmates.

Leg 4 second-placer Terrafirma vies in Pool B against Pioneer Pro Tibay and Barangay Ginebra while San Miguel Beer, last week’s third-placer, is in Pool C with Platinum Karaoke, NorthPorth and Master Sardines.

The Limitless Appmasters, Cavitex Braves and Purefoods TJ Titans do battle in Pool D.

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