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Phoenix vows to grab opportunity


Phoenix Super LPG coach Jamike Jarin vows not to waste any opportunity when they battle Meralco anew in their sudden-death quarterfinal battle in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.

Jarin said he also relishes the opportunity of competing in a triple-overtime thriller in which they dropped a heartbreaking 107-116 setback that put the Bolts on the brink of advancing to the best-of-five semifinals.

“What a great experience it was,” said Jarin, whose wards fought tooth and nail for nearly four hours only to drop a sorry setback to the rejuvenated Bolts.

“Of course, it would have been sweeter if we won the game.”

Jarin, however, stressed that everything is not yet lost.

The Fuel Masters still have one more opportunity to send the Bolts packing and arrange a semifinal showdown against red-hot Magnolia, which made short work of TNT Tropang Giga in the other semifinal pairing.

Phoenix and Meralco will slug it out for one last time tomorrow at the Mall of Asia Arena.

This time, Jarin stressed that they will go for the kill.

“We don’t wait for opportunities. We have to grab it, and that’s what I told the players,” Jarin said, bracing for another grueling battle with the Bolts.

“Meralco’s objective last time was to extend the series while our goal was to end it. Now, both of us can close it out on Sunday and, hopefully, we’ve already learned our lessons.”

The chance of making it to the semifinals doesn’t come often for the Fuel Masters. In fact, the last time they made it to the semifinals was four years ago when the league held its first bubble tournament in Pampanga.

Against the Bolts, the Fuel Masters led by as many as 15 points, but couldn’t get it done in regulation. They also had some chances in the first two overtimes until finally losing steam in the third extra period.

“We had opportunities of winning it in regulation and in the first two overtime periods, but we couldn’t grab those opportunities given to us,” he admitted, adding that the setback should serve as a wakeup call to his boys.

“Now we really have to grab whatever opportunity comes our way this Sunday because there’s no other day to do it.”

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