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PBA: Phoenix continues hot run, edges Ginebra in LA Tenorio's homecoming

Johnathan Williams put up a 20-20 again for Phoenix. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JOSE, Batangas—Phoenix spoiled LA Tenorio's return to his home province on Saturday night as they rallied in the fourth quarter to stun defending PBA Commissioner's Cup champion Ginebra, 82-77, at the FPJ Arena.

The Fuel Masters went full throttle in the final 12 minutes, opening the fourth period on a 23-5 run to take a 76-68 lead with 6:23 remaining.

The Gin Kings tried to crawl back as they scored four straight points to cut the lead to four, but after three free throw misses, Johnathan Williams hit a crucial charity, and Ken Tuffin buried a back-breaking three for an 80-72 cushion with 2:40 left.

"It's always gonna be selfless basketball. We tried to move the ball and hit the open man, so we did and he made tough shots," Phoenix coach Jamike Jarin said on Tuffin's clutch basket.

"The play wasn't specifically defined for me, but... we practiced that a lot. Credit to them for finding me," added Tuffin.

Ginebra had one last run as LA Tenorio hit a three-pointer and Tony Bishop connected a mid-range jumper to trim the gap to three, 80-77, with 26.2 seconds to go.

The team then forced a turnover on Phoenix for a chance to force overtime, but Bishop misfired a three-point attempt and Williams converted two free throws for the dagger.

Williams led the Fuel Masters, now with five straight wins to move up to 6-1, a half-game behind undefeated Magnolia for first place, with 24 points, 23 rebounds, four assists, and one block.

Tuffin added 18 points on four triples, two rebounds, and one assist.

Bishop put up 21 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, and two steals, while Jamie Malonzo added 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks for the Gin Kings, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-2.

The Scores:

PHOENIX 82–Williams 24, Tuffin 18, Alejandro 10, Perkins 9, Tio 7, Muyang 7, Jazul 3, Garcia 2, Rivero 2, Manganti 0, Soyud 0, Mocon 0, Daves 0, Camacho 0, Verano 0

GINEBRA 77–Bishop 21, Malonzo 20, Standhardinger 12, Cu 6, Tenorio 5, J.Aguilar 5, Ahanmisi 4, Pinto 3, Pringle 1

QUARTERS: 22-20, 36-43, 58-63, 82-77

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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