McKay, Fuel Masters snap two-game skid, stun Aces, 94-86

April 21, 2017

IMPORT Jameel McKay torched Alaska for 42 points while RJ Jazul and Cyrus Baguio showed up against their former team as the Phoenix Fuel Masters stunned the Aces, 94-86, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

McKay set the tone for the team by scoring 17 of his output in the opening period and then added 18 in the second half of a game the Fuel Masters dominated all the way.

The import with the dreadlock hairstyle went 16 of 25 from the field and added 22 rebounds before finally going to the showers after suffering leg cramps.

But by the time McKay went out, Phoenix already had the victory – its third in seven outings – well secured that snapped the team’s back-to-back losses.

Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia however, reserved the biggest compliment to Jazul and Baguio, two former Alaska players the Fuel Masters acquired through separate trades.

“It was really Cyrus and RJ…they were really instrumental in this win,” Vanguardia said. “I talked to them last Wednesday and I said I knew that’s (Alaska) your family before, but I haven’t felt that you’re with us. And there has to come a time you have to step up.”
Step up, the two did.

Baguio led all Phoenix local scorers with 12 points (4 of 8) six rebounds and two assists, while Jazul, playing against the Aces for the first time since being traded for sophomore guard Simon Enciso, added 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists.

“And Jameel is getting better every day, and we know how to play with him” Vanguardia added.

Alaska played minus star player Calvin Abueva, still recovering from the eight stitches required to close a cut on his busted upper lip, and obviously missed his presence as the Aces suffered their second straight loss after winning their first four games in the mid-season tournament.

Abueva is the latest casualty to join Alaska’s injury list that already included Chris Banchero and Vic Manuel.
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Foul-saddled Cory Jefferson showed the way for Alaska with 31 points and 13 rebounds.