SAN JUAN City – Phoenix Petroleum-FEU streaked to its third straight win by shading QRS JAM Liner-UP, 98-84, at the resumption of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Tuesday (February 9) at the San Juan Arena. Banco de Oro-NU also barged into the win column by escaping AMA Online Education in the second game, 93-87.
Limited to only two points the third period, Mohammad Salim exploded for seven crucial points in the fourth period including a three-point play off new AMA recruit RR de Leon at the 3:09 mark that raised their lead further, 84-79. That capped a 7-2 run by BDO as they broke away from the game’s final tie at 77-77 after a Rashawn McCarthy drive with 6:11 to play.
From there, J-Jay Alejandro scattered five points beginning with a breakaway layup off a steal that sealed the deal with 1:20 on the clock, 88-82. Alejandro was not finished as he added a basket and a free throw to secure the victory and finish with a total of 14 points.
Matthew Salem scored 10 of his team-best 16 points in the first period on top of seven rebounds. Alfred Aroga returned to active duty and chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds.
“Finally, we are playing with a complete lineup,” said a very relieved Coach Eric Altamirano. “It’s just a matter of the younger players adjusting to the D-League style of play and also gelling with our alumni reinforcements like Tristan Perez and Robin Rono.”
McCarthy, who sat out AMA’s last game due to illness, tried to lift the Titans with 21 points and 10 rebounds but the effort was not enough. Jam Jamito and another new recruit Mark Jovet Mendoza followed with 13 markers each as the Titans remain in search of their first win.
After a sluggish first period wherein they allowed the Maroons to surge ahead, 26-21, the Accelerators went on a pivotal 13-0 run to begin the second period that gave them the lead for good, 34-26. So unforgiving was Phoenix that they stretched their margin to as high as 24 markers in the third canto, 65-41.
Phoenix is now in a three-way tie for the league leadership with idle teams CafeFrance-CEU and Caida Tiles at 3-0. The Maroons have now lost two in a row after winning their first two outings.
Mac Belo paced the Accelerators with 20 points and seven rebounds in only 19 minutes of action off the bench. The starting backcourt of Ed Daquioag and Mike Tolomia backed up Belo with 16 and 14 points respectively.
Raymond Aguilar was the high man for the Maroons with 10 of his 28 points in the final period on top of 10 rebounds. Jong Baloria was his only teammate in twin figures with 12, all made in the fourth as well.
A juicy matchup between undefeated sides CafeFrance-CEU and Caida Tiles will banner the games this Thursday (February 11) at the Ynares Sports Arena at 4:00 PM. The first game pits Wang’s Basketball against Tanduay Rhum at 2:00 PM.
How They Scored:
PHOENIX PETROLEUM-FEU (98) – Belo 20, Daquioag 16, Tolomia 14, Pogoy 10, Tamsi 10, Jose 9, Ru. Escoto 8, Inigo 7, Ri. Escoto 3, Elmejrab 1, Mendoza 0.
QRS JAM LINER-UP (84) – Aguilar 28, Baloria 12, Ferrer 9, Dario 8, Batino 7, Soyud 5, Moralde 4, Sorela 4, Desiderio 4, Alolino 3, Neypes 0.
Period Scores: 21-26, 55-39, 79-56, 98-84.
BANCO DE ORO-NU (93) – Salem 16, Alejandro 14, Aroga 14, Salim 9, Diputado 8, Labing-isa 7, Perez 7, Javelona 6, Yu 6, Tansingco 6, Rono 0.
AMA ONLINE (87) – McCarthy 21, Jamito 13, Mendoza 13, de Leon 12, Sargent 10, King 9, dela Cruz 7, Calma 1, Arambulo 1, Macaranas 0, Hernandez 0, Balucanag 0.
Period Scores: 26-18, 47-45, 69-68, 93-87.