Phoenix Fuel Masters 97 – Blackwater Elite 91
The Phoenix Fuel Masters used a second half run to take down the Blackwater Elite. The Fuel Masters claim the second spot, setting up a match-up with the Meralco Bolts in the quarterfinals. The Elite dropped to fifth place with their fourth loss of the conference. They will need to win twice against the Magnolia Hotshots in the playoffs.
The Elite used a strong second quarter to take a four-point lead heading into the half. Henry Walker played big to start the quarter but he got help from Nard Pinto, Allein Maliksi and Paul Zamar in building their lead. Unfortunately for the Elite, they couldn’t keep it up in the third period.
The entire Phoenix team got on the board late in the period to help keep Phoenix within striking distance. LA Revilla buried a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Fuel Masters the lead heading into the final quarter.
From there, Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright slowly took over the game. The two teamed up to score all but two points in a 12-6 run that helped build a comfortable lead for the Fuel Masters. Abueva’s dunk with 2:24 left in the game gave Phoenix a nine-point lead. Enough cushion to cruise to the win.
Barangay Ginebra 112 – TNT KaTropa 93
Barangay Ginebra didn’t mess around. They set a date with the NLEX Road Warriors in the quarterfinals after locking up the top seed. They won their ninth game of the conference, eliminating the TNT KaTropa in the process.
Justin Brownlee continued to fill up the stat sheet for the Barangay with 31 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals and three blocks. Greg Slaughter added 25 points while Japeth Aguilar and combined for 21 points and 31 rebounds.
Ginebra owned the paint with Slaughter and Brownlee frolicking in that area. The two outmuscled the undersized TNT frontline in the third quarter to build an insurmountable lead. Brownlee’s emphatic dunk in the third quarter highlighted a run where he and Slaughter combined for seven of the team’s nine points.
In the fourth quarter, Kevin Ferre’s outside shooting helped push the lead up to as high as 22 points. The outcome was never in doubt after that. Ginebra shot 57% from the field and had 34 assists on their 38 made shots. They limited TNT to just 37% shooting and 21% from beyond the arc.