MANILA, Philippines – Calvin Abueva came up with the game-winning block to lift Phoenix to a hard-fought 83-82 win over NLEX in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, February 8.
"The Beast" denied Bong Galanza's potential go-ahead three-pointer as the Fuel Masters ended the Road Warriors' two-game winning streak to keep their record unscathed after 5 games.
With 2.3 seconds left, NLEX had ample time to get a shot off and found Galanza open at the top of the key but Abueva rushed to him to deny his triple as time expired.
Abueva finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench while Matthew Wright delivered a game-high 17 points on top of 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
Phoenix's hot start bodes well for the team, especially since San Miguel – the last team to win its first 5 games – won a championship in the all-Filipino conference last year.
JR Quiñahan paced the Road Warriors with 14 points while Galanza had 12 markers for the Road Warriors, who dropped to 2-4.
Poy Erram saw his 11-point and 15-rebound outing go to waste as NLEX wasted a 11-point lead in the 3rd quarter, 56-45.
Phoenix 83 –Wright 17, Perkins 14, Abueva 13, Mendoza 8, Jazul 8, Chua 6, Mallari 6, Revilla 3, Kramer 2, Marcelo 2, Napoles 2, Dennison 2, Gamboa 0.
NLEX 82 – Quinahan 14, Galanza 12, Erram 11, Fonacier 9, Baguio 9, Lao 8, Ighalo 6, Porter 6, Paniamogan 5, Taulava 2, Tiongson 0, Magat 0, Tallo 0.
Quarters: 24-12, 45-44, 67-70, 83-82.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.