Phoenix Super LPG cruised to a 103-84 victory against a banged-up Terrafirma squad to gain the solo second spot in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Johnathan Williams was impressive as he did the damage for the Fuel Masters, who now fashion a 4-1 win-loss record behind the idle Magnolia squad that remains unbeaten in four matches.
Williams, a former National Basketball Association player, fired 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while dishing out four assists and picking a steal and a block in another solid all-around performance.
He was relentless against the Dyip side that paraded an ailing import in Thomas Hugo de Thaey and Juami Tiongson and missed the services of Allen Mina.
“We’re happy that we have a three-game winning streak, but again, we cannot go to the playoffs on four wins,” Phoenix coach Jamike Jarin said.
“The team has been working collectively, offensively and defensively.”
Phoenix led by as many as 30 points, 91-61, as Terrafirma just lacked the firepower with De Thaey and Tiongson still not at full strength.
De Thaey returned after being sidelined by a groin injury but was good for only 18 points and 14 rebounds while Tiongson shot only 4-for-14 from the field for Terrafirma, which suffered its third loss in five games in this season-opening conference.
Even worse was top overall rookie pick Stephen Holt, who missed all of his five attempts from the three-point area made only 1-of-12 attempts from the field.
He ended the match with only two points as Terrafirma continued to absorb another beat down for the second consecutive game.
The Dyip lost their last two games by an average of 29.5 points, including a 93-133 setback to TNT Tropang Giga last 22 November.
Meanwhile, NorthPort team manager Pido Jarencio has been slapped a P20,000 fine and was given a stern warning by the PBA for his involvement in the post-game verbal spat with former NLEX import Thomas Robinson.
“They were both fined P20,000 and was given stern warming,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said.
Robinson, meanwhile, had been replaced by the Road Warriors in favor of European League veteran Stokley Chaffee Jr.