Phoenix withstands TNT's 2nd half push, Parks' 41 to tie semis

Phoenix withstands TNT's 2nd half push, Parks' 41 to tie semis

Jason Perkins helped Phoenix hold off TNT down the stretch. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The first three quarters of Game 2 of the PBA semifinals between Phoenix and TNT offer different stories.

The first quarter saw Ray-Ray Parks dropping 20 points early on.

The second quarter, however, saw the Fuel Masters threatening to pull away only for the Tropang Giga to bounce back in the third quarter to eventually retake the lead midway through the fourth.

But it was the endgame that mattered a lot.

Phoenix sizzled in the last five minutes to depose TNT, 110-103, on Friday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

The Fuel Masters pulled away for good after launching the game deciding 8-0 run sparked by two Calvin Abueva free throws and highlighted by a huge trey from Alex Mallari that put them ahead, 98-92.

TNT tried to stay in the chase, but another 6-0 rally put Phoenix up by 10, 107-97, with 46.2 seconds left even as the latter converted dagger free throws to hold off the former despite Simon Enciso's gallant stand from long range.

Jason Perkins made 21 points, four rebounds, and two assists for the Fuel Masters, who tied their best-of-five series at one win each.

Abueva added 20 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Parks' 41-point blast went down the drain especially that he was fouled out right at the five-minute mark as he watched the Fuel Masters took control of the match.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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