Phoenix keeps playoff hopes alive, ousts Blackwater

Justin Chua came close to a double-double for the Fuel Masters. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Phoenix stayed alive in the running for a PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal berth after trouncing Blackwater, 114-92, on Saturday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Fuel Masters blasted the Bossing in the final three quarters after the latter, also looking to keep their slim playoffs intact, went off in the first quarter.

Blackwater looked to finally seal its first win after opening a 29-22 lead over Phoenix at the end of the first quarter.

But the Fuel Masters outscored the Bossing, 92-63, in the last 36 minutes behind a bulk of their 19 three-pointers to turn the tides for good.

Jason Perkins and Justin Chua each scored 17 points for Phoenix, which moved up to eighth place at 4-5.

Mike Tolomia waxed hot in the first half, scoring 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting, but he went 2-for-9 the rest of the way and finished with 23 markers, five rebounds, two dimes, and one steal off the bench for Blackwater, which will miss the playoffs after dropping to 0-9.

Dating back to last year, Blackwater has already dropped 17 straight games, the longest since Ginebra also lost the same number of consecutive outings in 1995.

Both teams share the second longest skid in PBA history, one short of Great Taste's string of 18 consecutive defeats in 1980.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno