MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix picked Terrafirma apart with methodical precision on Saturday, carving out a 135-84 victory to bolster its chances in the hunt for a playoff berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Fuel Masters came out the gates hard and kept their foot on the pedal the rest of the way to flatten the Dyip and their elimination round campaign with a 6-6 win-loss record.
“We just honored the game. We just made sure we focused on ourselves and not on the competition,” said coach Topex Robinson, shortly after the rout at Philsports Arena in Pasig City which was just four points shy of the 55-point winning margin record set by U-Tex back in July 1980.
“[W]e made sure that everybody is in this united front. Just like what (Jason) Perkins, it’s playoff basketball for us,” he went on.
RR Garcia had 20 points off the bench to lead Phoenix in scoring. Import Kaleb Wesson had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Encho Serrano scored just as much, while four more added twin-digit scores for the Fuel Masters who pounced on the hapless Terrafirma missing its resident import to the league’s health and safety protocols.
The Dyip, long eliminated from playoff contention, had only three players finishing in double figures. Joshua Munzon had a team-best 12 points as the club also wrapped their campaign at 1-11.
It could be recalled that Terrafirma also lost to Bay Area by 54 points last October 21, which now puts the club on the nasty end of two of the most lopsided games in league history.
Phoenix, at best, can wound up playing in a best-of-three quarterfinal duel.
Robinson, naturally, can only hope for the best.
“What’s good about this is we’re in a better place. Just like how I reminded my team, there’s always gonna be pressure. Whether you’re at the bottom, you’re gonna have pressure. If you’re up there, you’re gonna have pressure.
“At this point, we don’t have control of whom we’re gonna face, but we have total control of our team. So it’s really more on the learnings and growings of this team,” he added.
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