No individual player was tasked by Phoenix Super LPG head coach Jamike Jarin to fill in the spot vacated by Encho Serrano, a player who had a superb rookie season, but opted not to renew his contract with the Fuel Masters and brought his wares to another league.
Instead, the Fuel Masters guards are doing things collectively, hoping they can make up for those numbers usually produced by Serrano.
“We need to put that next-man-up mentality,” said Jarin. “I’m just proud of everybody, especially the guards. They picked it up and played really well, so I’m happy for all of them.”
Without Serrano, eight players made key contributions and wound up in double figures in Phoenix’s 106-101 victory over San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Basketball On Tour preseason tournament at the Ynares Arena in Pasig Wednesday night.
Simon Camacho, a hardworking forward, finished with 15 points on a 6-of-8 shooting from the field, to go along with eight rebounds.
Tyler Tio, picked up in the second round of the Rookie Draft the previous season, chipped in 14 points, including that go-ahead three-point basket in the final 48 seconds, 102-101, that allowed the Fuel Masters to recover after losing a 26-point lead in the early goings.
Larry Muyang had a double-double performance of 11 points and 12 boards, while RR Garcia also scored 11 markers.
Sean Manganti, Raul Soyud, Kurt Lojera and Jayjay Alejandro each tallied 10 points for the Fuel Masters, who outrebounded the Beermen, 64-55.
Phoenix also produced 59 points from players coming off the bench, 29 more than its counterpart, and also had 31 second chance points, 17 more than San Miguel.
“We’re going to do it collectively” said Jarin. “If he’s averaging 10 points per game last conference, let’s get two more points from Jay Alejandro, two more points from Kurt Lojera, two more points from RR Garcia and they’re capable of doing that.”
PHOENIX 106 – Camacho 15, Tio 14, Garcia 11, Muyang 11, Manganti 10, Lojera 10, Alejandro 10, Soyud 10, Lalata 7, Jazul 6, Atienza 2
SAN MIGUEL 101 – Romeo 27, Herndon 21, Tautuaa 16, Brondial 12, Cruz 12, Baclao 6, Bulanadi 4, Lee 3, Saldua 0, Faundo 0
QUARTERS: 37-17, 61-44, 89-78, 106-101