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Phoenix ready for next challenge


Phoenix Super LPG is looking forward to playing in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup following its breakthrough performance in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.

The Fuel Masters stood their ground in the elimination round and eventually found themselves battling a league heavyweight in Magnolia before losing the race-to-three semifinals in four games.

Still, head coach Jamike Jarin is upbeat that the deep run in the playoffs should help the squad in its bid in the Philippine Cup.

“The team is in high spirits, especially after our good run,” said Jarin in a telephone interview with DAILY TRIBUNE.

“But that great experience is something we can build on and for a young team, this is a breakthrough moment for us.”

Behind import Jonathan Williams, veteran players Jason Perkins, RJ Jazul and Javee Mocon and young talented rookies in Ken Tuffin and Ricci Rivero, the Fuel Masters were able to put together good games under Jarin, who is in his first full season as head coach after inheriting the squad from Topex Robinson.

The Fuel Masters have all the reason to feel confident in the Philippine Cup which opens shop on 28 February.

“This is a young team and that (reaching the semifinals) was one great experience for us. But we expect our veteran players like Jason and RJ to play bigger roles in the Philippine Cup.”

Its solid showing was also made possible by import, former Los Angeles Lakers member Jonathan Williams, who turned out to be a perfect fit for the team.

With Williams nowhere to be found, Perkins and Tuffin will have to step up to the plate.

Also, Mocon, who played as a power forward when he was still in college while seeing action and winning championships for San Beda, had been able to spend more time playing the No. 4 position while also being delegated as an import-stopper this conference.

He will play a key role in the Philippine Cup while needing more help from the other big men who are likely to rotate playing the center spot.

What is also pumping up the players is the assurance from management that “we are here to stay,” Jarin said.

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