Jun 09, 2018

Phoenix and Columbian Dyip fight for survival

AFTER falling short against a tournament powerhouse, Phoenix must do a quick turnaround and get its leg under it
At least, that's what coach Louie Alas made as his highest priority going to his Fuel Masters' Sunday clash with an equally determined Columbian Dyip in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"X's and O's I have no problem with. My main concern is the fatigue factor. Major minutes mga in rotation guys ko," said Alas, referring to extended playing time his main players had in a 100-103 overtime loss to Meralco last Friday.

To ease the concern somewhat, Alas scheduled no contact practice Saturday with the time spent mostly on viewings and mental preparation.

Phoenix needs to regroup real quick.

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The loss, the Fuel Masters' second straight, dropped them to a tie for seventh with GlobalPort and just half a game ahead of ninth-running Columbian.

A win not only would push Phoenix beyond the Dyip's reach but also give it some sort of momentum going to its last two elimination round games against GlobalPort on June 20 and Alaska on July 6.

Understandably, more dire is the situation of Columbian.

After dropping their last three games, the Dyip are left with having to win all their last three games to realize only their second quarterfinals appearance since the 2016 Governors Cup.

Another loss would only double the pressure on coach Ricky Dandan and his charges, as he himself acknowledges.

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"Tomorrow's game will be the biggest for us this conference," said Dandan.

"A win will put us in a good position to vie for a playoff slot. We will fight to the finish and do everything we can to get that win."(NC)