PASIG CITY – Phoenix Petroleum had to work extra hard to get past ever-improving Blustar Detergent, 97-94, in continuing action from the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena Thursday (June 16). The Accelerators needed a big fourth period push from guards Ed Daquioag and Mike Tolomia to tally the win against the visiting Dragons from Malaysia.
Phoenix also survived the 34-point output of debuting Dragons guest player Juami Tiongson, who had a chance to send the game into overtime but missed an off-balanced triple at the buzzer. Earlier, Tolomia broke the game’s final deadlock with a side jumper at the 31-second mark, 94-92, and was followed by a free throw from Daquioag off a Wong Yi Hou foul for more cushion with 16 ticks remaining, 95-92.
Francis Tamsi then fouled Tiongson who made both charities to put pressure on Phoenix, 94-95, and eight seconds left on the clock. In the ensuing sequence, Russel Escoto drew a foul and promptly made both his gift shots for the final tally.
The Dragons, who lost their first two games by a combined 38 markers, came out strong against the Accelerators ending the first period in a 23-23 stalemate. The Accelerators’ campaign hit a snag after 2016 Aspirants Cup Most Valuable Player Mac Belo was ejected with 10 seconds left in the period for elbowing Ting Chung Hong above the shoulder.
Daquioag scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth period on top of five steals while Tolomia added 20 points and eight rebounds. Without their best player, Phoenix had to squeeze more from the remaining frontline with Jam Jamito rising to the occasion with 19 points and five rebounds to complement the prolific guards.
“We prepared well for this game and we know who their shooters and post player are,” said Coach Eric Gonzales. Blustar has several members of the Malaysian national team on their roster, the same squad the Philippines starring Belo, Tolomia, Escoto and Roger Pogoy defeated in last month’s SEABA tilt in Thailand, 108-84.
Tiongson, who sat out Blustar’s first two outings, added four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Kuek Tian Yuan was again the highest scoring Malaysian with 21 points and nine rebounds.
The Accelerators streaked to their fourth win in a row and the top of the seven-team standings. The Dragons fell into a three-way tie at the bottom with idle AMA Online Education and Topstar ZC Mindanao Aguilas at 0-3.
How They Scored:
PHOENIX PETROLEUM (97) – Daquioag 25, Tolomia 20, Jamito 19, Pogoy 10, Escoto 6, Tamsi 5, Mendoza 4, Andrada 3, Belo 2, Batino 2, Pascual 1, Inigo 0, Knuttel 0.
BLUSTAR DETERGENT (94) – Tiongson 34, Kuek 21, Ting 12, Ma 11, Teo 5, Choo 5, Liaw 3, Wong 3, Ong 0, Palma 0, Mak 0.
Period Scores: 23-23, 48-47, 72-73, 97-94.