Rookie Tyler Tio was business as usual, a few days after media reported that Phoenix might sell its PBA franchise.
On 8 October, Tio set a new career high in points and rebounds and was a picture of concentration as the Fuel Masters overtook the NLEX Road Warriors, 111-97, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena.
Tio played a big factor in Phoenix’s first win in four starts—knocking in 26 points, including a steady 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc, and seven assists, also a personal best.
“We’re just focused on the things we could control as a team. I think the outside noise, there’s nothing we can do about it,” said rookie Tyler Rio as the Fuel Masters scored its first win in four games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“As professionals, we owe it to ourselves and our teammates to do our jobs and that’s what we did. We had a great week of practice and that was key to our performance.”
Injured star forward Jason Perkins could only agree with the rookie’s observation.
“My job is to come to the court, put the ball in the hoop and make sure the other team doesn’t put the ball in the hoop. Everyone is locked in. Whatever happens on the court, stays on the court,” said Perkins, who is sidelined by a meniscus injury.
Team manager Paolo Bugia told Daily Tribune Phoenix players have the management’s support. The boss (lawyer Raymond Zorilla) dropped in at the team’s practice, and kept them motivated, said Bugia. “He told us to stay focused. We were in high spirits. Credit the team for being professional. We’ve finally gotten over the hump.”
Recently, media reported the possible sale of Phoenix’s PBA franchise after the Batangas Regional Trial Court served notices of garnishment on 17 bank accounts of team owner Dennis Uy.