PHOENIX Super LPG and NorthPort are expected to have done the necessary fine-tuning in their respective games going to their collision Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
They should, if they want to crash the win-column, avoid being relegated to the cellar and playing catch-up for the rest of the season-opening tournament.
The Fuel Masters' season debut was spoiled by a 73-80 loss to Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok last Saturday. In that highly-defensive game where both teams combined for only 45 points.
But while the two teams did get their games going in the second half it was Phoenix which flinched, going 0-of-3 and committing three turnovers after keeping within 73-74 in the final 2:12, thus putting to waste Matthew Wright's 20 points and new acquisition Vic Manuel's 16 and 10 boards.
What's more, Phoenix must continue to make do without another threat in Chris Banchero, who was relegated to the injured list after the calf injury he sustained in practice last week proved to be slow in healing. He has been replaced by Alfrancis Tamsi in Phoenix's active roster.
NorthPort has its own kinks that needed ironing out following a 53-85 loss to Meralco on opening day Friday.
The final output was the Batang Pier's fewest points in franchise history and their 17-of-81 field shooting for 20/99 percent is the second-worst field goal percentage in league annals.
Things could be different this time for NorthPort as Greg Slaughter, who was not utilized after joining his new team only last Thursday following a month-long stay in the US for his vaccination, is expected to finally see action.
Veteran Sean Anthony must also recover from a six-point outing, on 1-of-10 shooting, and more so Jamie Malonzo, the No. 2 pick overall in the draft who had nine points and nine rebounds but shot only 3-of-12 from the floor. (NC)