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Jul 09, 2019

Phoenix tries to keep spot in Magic 8, takes on rejuvenated San Miguel Beer

Phoenix Pulse defends its spot in the top eight as it tangles with a rejuvenated San Miguel Beer side in a vital tiff in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.

Beaten by Columbian Dyip the last time out, the Fuel Masters are now straddling in the middle of the chart with a 4-5 win-loss card, barely half-game up on eighth-running Alaska Milk and a full game in front of San Miguel (3-5).

And then they face a tough, tough battle versus the Beermen who are back in high spirits with their new prized import in Chris McCullough.

Phoenix and San Miguel clash at 7 p.m.

The No. 29 pick by the Brooklyn Nets in the 2015 NBA Draft, McCullough showcased his firepower right in his PBA debut Friday, unloading six three-pointers and a total of 47 points to help SMB snap a losing skein with a 109-105 win over NLEX.

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"We're gonna keep winning games, keep going as we try to win the championship," declared the Bronx, New York native after the game.

San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla said McCullough is determined to make an impact in his PBA stint in his hope to make it back to the NBA.

And the entire SMB team is bent to make a run in the homestretch of the elims to salvage a ticket to the playoff round.

The Beermen have Phoenix, Rain or Shine and Meralco as last assignments in the elims.

The Fuel Masters, meanwhile, also look forward to finish strong in the elims while facing San Miguel and NLEX.

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But Richard Howell and his teammates could well be facing an uphill climb versus McCullough and the Beermen.

A dampener was their 98-100 loss to the Dyip on Saturday.(SB)