Fuel Masters head coach Ariel Vanguardia admitted that going mano a mano with a deep Rain or Shine squad cost itself the game, losing the duel, 97-82, on Sunday.
“We gambled on them taking threes. The bad thing is they made them,” he said.
Known to prosper in free-flowing games, the Fuel Masters didn’t have enough firepower to match their foes as they only shot 5-of-24 from threes against the Elasto Painters’ whopping 16-of-47 conversion....
The defeat – which snapped Phoenix's two-game winning streak and dropped their record to 4-4 – squandered a 26-point effort from rookie Matthew Wright, the only member of Phoenix's guard rotation to escape Vanguardia's wrath.
"Aside from Matt, walang maganda ang laro sa backcourt," Vanguardia said bluntly after their loss....
MANILA, Philippines – Matthew Wright notched the first double-double of his PBA career on Sunday, but the rookie still took responsibility for Phoenix's 82-97 loss to Rain or Shine in the All-Filipino Cup.
Wright scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while also dishing out five assists, for the Fuel Masters. However, he made only 10 of a whopping 29 attempts, and missed 14 two-pointers – several of them at the rim.
His poor shooting display contributed to Phoenix's subpar offense. As a team, the Fuel Masters converted only 32% of their shots and missed 50 of their two-point attempts....
MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters kept their hold on the second spot in the league standings after shooting their way past the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 97-82, in the 2016-17 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters used a huge third quarter to break the game open, while Jericho Cruz anchored a crucial fourth-quarter stretch to keep Phoenix at bay.
With the victory, Rain or Shine improved to 5-2, just behind defending champion San Miguel Beer in the team standings....
Coach Ariel Vanguardia has urged his Phoenix Fuel Masters to have a positive approach going into the last four games if they want to have a shot at claiming a twice-to-beat advantage going into the playoffs of the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Fuel Masters entered the holiday break tied with the Blackwater Elite for fourth at 4-3 after a stunning comeback from a 26-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Globalport Batang Pier, 101-99, last Dec. 29.
Phoenix, however, will face three teams with at least a .500 winning percentage during the final stretch of the eliminations, namely Rain or Shine (4-2) on Sunday, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (3-3) on Jan. 22 and Alaska (3-3) on Jan. 27....
|Team History (Last 10 Conferences)|
|2016-2017 Philippine Cup||5||4||0.556|
|2015-2016 Governors' Cup||6||7||0.462||8th|
|2015-2016 Commissioners' Cup||3||8||0.273||11th|