CLARK - Firing 17 three-pointers in a winning debut, the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters did even better Thursday night, rifling in 19 as they turned back the NorthPort Batang Pier, 110-105, to go 2-0 under new coach Topex Robinson.
No less than seven Phoenix players had three-point conversion, including Matthew Wright with four as the Fuel Masters didn't just outgun but outhustle and outfox the Batang Pier to gain a share of early lead in the PBA bubble play at the AUF Gym powered by Smart 5G.
Phoenix drew level with TNT Tropang Giga at 2-0 while sending NorthPort to a 0-2 hole.
But the Fuel Masters insisted they're still in the process of becoming a team, not minding the leaderboard.
"As I've said coming here, we just wanted to be the best version of ourselves. We can be 2-0 or 0-2 right now, but it doesn't matter. We're not yet a team but just a group of individuals with good basketball talent," said Robinson.
"We're just trying to stick together and stay in the process. We're not focusing on the win-loss record. We're in a process and we're enjoying the process," said Jayson Perkins, delivering a heckuva game with 31 points and 12 rebounds.
Wright and Justin Chua also had big games but the team needed to stay together as the Batang Pier rallied from a double-digit deficit and tried to turn the game around at the finish.
Chua, Perkins and Wright themselves made the clutch hits to ward off the Batang Pier and score a follow-up to their 116-98 win over the Meralco Bolts Monday.
Wright delivered solid all-around numbers with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds while Chua collected 17 markers, three boards, three blocks, two assists and one steal against one turnover.
Jazul was the fourth Phoenix player to finish in double figures with 10.
Down by 14, the Batang Pier waged a chase in the second half, racing ahead at 86-85 on a Garvo Lanete trey midway through the fourth.
NorthPort couldn't complete the job, though, and once again put to naught the adorable stats lines of Christian Standhardinger (28-11-5) and Sean Anthony (23-12-10). (SB)
Phoenix Super LPG 110 - Perkins 31, Wright 23, Chua 17, Jazul 10, Heruela 9, Rios 8, Intal 5, Napoles 4, Marcelo 3, Gamboa 0, Reyes 0, Garcia 0.
NorthPort 105 - Standhardinger 28, Anthony 23, Lanete 17, Ferrer 14, Taha 7, Nabong 6, Elorde 4, Cruz 3, Revilla 2, Guinto 2, Manganti 0, Subido 0, Grey 0.
Quarters: 23-23, 55-51, 83-77, 110-105