(Ynares Sports Arena)
5 p.m. — Blackwater vs Terrafirma
7:30 p.m. — Converge vs Magnolia
SHORT in numbers but not in heart, hardworking Phoenix disposed of Meralco, 100-93, to continue its hot start in the PBA On Tour on Sunday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Raul Soyud typified the nine-man Fuel Masters herculean efforts against the Bolts, delivering 25 points on a near-flawless 11-of-12 marksmanship plus 13 rebounds to lead Jamike Jarin’s team to back-to-back victories.
With a big-time cleanup job on Sean Manganti’s miss, Mr. Soyud sparked a 12-5 closing barrage as Phoenix got the job done against tough Meralco four days after taking down San Miguel Beer (SMB), 106-101, in the pre-season meet.
The burly big man Mr. Soyud delivered his best performance since joining Phoenix in the last conference.
RR Garcia added 15 with five assists, Mr. Manganti posted 12 markers and seven boards, youthful frontliner Larry Muyang had a 13-12 double-double as Tyler Tio produced 10. Daniel Atienza (9), Jayjay Alejandro (7), Chris Lalata (6), and RJ Jazul (3) contributed as well for the 2-0 Fuel Masters.
There was actually a 10th man on the Phoenix bench, Simon Camacho, but he was still reeling from the injury he sustained in the SMB game and saw action for under two seconds late in the first half.
The Meralco Bolts, who were led by Anjo Caram’s 22 and Bong Quinto’s 10 points and 11 dimes, failed to score a followup to their 97-89 opening win over NorthPort and slipped to 1-1.
Meanwhile, Magnolia rained 15 treys on Blackwater to run away with a 117-83 rout in the other featured match.
Backup center James Laput had a breakout 12-12 outing while trade acquisition Abu Tratter debuted with 14-7 to spark the Hotshots to the victorious kickoff while sending the Bossing down to 1-1. — Olmin Leyba