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Phoenix manhandles NLEX to boost playoff bid

By Patrick Sutare

PASAY--Phoenix clicked on all cylinders from the third quarter to the final horn to dismantle NLEX, 102-91, Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The Fuel Masters served a basketball clinic coming off the halftime break, turning a what was a tight battle in the first half into a one-sided affair after.

Simon Enciso was like a man possessed for the squad in red, dropping 21 points on  five threes on top of five boards and four dimes as he led Phoenix to its fifth win of the conference and improve their position to over .500 with a 5-4 record.

They join Blackwater and TNT, who slipped past Mahindra earlier, in a three-way logjam for the fourth to sixth place.

Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia, though, refuses to dwell too much on the win, saying that the quotient system has them disadvantaged so far.

"Iyong mga ka-tie namin sa fourth to fifth place, lahat yun tinalo kami," he said. "Right now we are virtually tied with them, but if you look at the quotient, we're still in seventh or eighth place."

NLEX, on the other hand, continues its woes nearing the tail end of the conference, dropping to 2-7 to tie Meralco at last place.

Sean Anthony was the lone bright spot for the Road Warriors, hoisting for 23 points and eight rebounds that all went for naught.

Follow him on Twitter: @patricksutare