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Phoenix escapes Rey Nambatac's grand comeback, edges ROS on RJ Jazul's hot game

RJ Jazul was on fire for the Fuel Masters. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Phoenix rode on the hot hands of RJ Jazul to buck off a huge game from the returning Rey Nambatac and pip Rain Or Shine, 106-102, in a PBA Philippine Cup Father's Day game at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Fuel Masters nearly lost an 18-point lead, but they prevailed thanks in part to a huge dagger from Jazul.

Phoenix was up, 63-45, at the start of the third quarter, but ROS stormed back later in the period and eventually cut the lead down to just one, 87-86, with 9:30 left in the fourth quarter.

The Fuel Masters appeared to have restored order after extending their lead back to 10, 100-90, with 3:25 to play, but the E-Painters threatened again by trimming the gap to just three, 103-100, on a Nambatac triple with 49 seconds left.

In the next play, however, Jazul doused some cold water on ROS' comeback trail after responding with a three-pointer of his own to put the lead back up to six.

Gabe Norwood scored on a quick layup to cut the lead down to four even as his team forced a stop on the other end, but Nambatac missed a long trey that sealed the fate of both squads.

Jazul finished with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting including 6-of-8 on threes for the Fuel Masters, who have now won back-to-back games after a 0-2 start.

Matthew Wright added 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three steals.

After missing their game against Barangay Ginebra last Wednesday night, Nambatac returned with a bang for the Elasto Painters, dropping 27 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal, but it did not stop them from losing their third straight game after winning in their season opener against the Converge FiberXers.

Facing off for the first time since they swapped jerseys, Nick Demusis tallied nine markers, eight boards, and one dime for Phoenix, while Javee Mocon was held to only two points although he too had nine caroms and four assists.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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