PBA Updates Phoenix Secure Semifinals Berth

Phoenix Fuel Masters Secure Semifinals Berth with Gritty Victory Against Meralco Bolts

In a thrilling game, the Phoenix Fuel Masters avoided a catastrophic collapse against the Meralco Bolts, clinching a position in the PBA semifinals. According to Coach Jamike Jarin, the team’s youth contributed to some early blunders, but they eventually overcame them, reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2020.

Coach Jarin recognized the club’s inexperience in post-game interviews, saying, “Actually, we’re a young team, so we’re entitled to make mistakes. But is one enough, two too much, or three? Can’t be.” The Fuel Masters had blown a 15-point lead in Game 1 against Meralco, but they persevered this time, surviving the Bolts’ comeback attempts.

Meralco closed the margin to four points in the fourth quarter, 77-73, mirroring their earlier comeback in the first quarterfinal game. On the other hand, Phoenix remained composed and eventually defeated the Lugi Trillo-led side.

Coach Jarin highlighted the necessity of maintaining composure: “The instruction was: You must handle the pressure.” These are the sorts of games that will help you develop, and they will provide you with valuable experience.” He praised the team’s united effort and emphasized the maturity developed over the series.

Jason Perkins, who was voted Best Player of the Game after scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, mirrored Coach Jarin’s thoughts. Perkins noted Jarin’s influence on the team’s maturity: “Honestly, we’re just following coach Jamike’s lead.” As he mentioned, we’re a youthful squad that gets highly emotional. Coach Jamike helps me get back on track.”

Moving on to the semifinals, Phoenix will play the powerful Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots, the competition’s top seed. Coach Jarin acknowledged the problematic challenge: “They were the favorites even before the conference began, so we had our hands full.” Despite being labeled underdogs, Phoenix is motivated to keep playing hard and hoping for positive results.

Williams, Perkins, Jazul, and Tuffin delivered tremendous efforts in the team’s triumph over Meralco. The semifinal clash between Phoenix and Magnolia is scheduled for Wednesday, January 24, at 4 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.

Scores:

PHOENIX 88: Williams 21, Perkins 19, Jazul 13, Tuffin 10, Mocon 9, Tio 6, Alejandro 4, Rivero 4, Garcia 2, Muyang 0, Manganti 0, Lalata 0, Daves 0, Verano 0, Camacho 0.

MERALCO 84: Newsome 15, Hodge 15, Maliksi 15, Miller 12, Quinto 11, Black 7, Banchero 7, Almazan 2, Rios 0, and Pascual 0.

Quarters: 30-22; 55-43; 77-62; 88-84.

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