Phoenix overcame San Miguel Beer’s big second half comeback and a productive showing from Terrence Romeo to take a 106-101 victory in the PBA On Tour on Wednesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Tyler Tio’s go-ahead three with 48.9 seconds left allowed the Fuel Masters to take the victory despite losing a 26-point lead in their first appearance in the two-month exhibition series.
The Fuel Masters are competing in the On Tour sans Encho Serrano, who Phoenix management said declined a two-year contract extension and is reportedly heading to the MPBL to play for his home province Pampanga.
Coach Jamike Jarin used the game to give precious minutes to Tio, RR Garcia and J-Jay Alejandro, the seldom-used guard who put up 10 points in 29 minutes.
San Miguel fell short despite Romeo drilling 27 points in his first game in a Beermen uniform since dealing with a hamstring injury for most of the recent Governors’ Cup.
Romeo shot 12 of 23 from the field while adding five rebounds and seven assists, but is still trying to find his rhythm.
June Mar Fajardo didn’t see action, as well as CJ Perez and Chris Ross, fresh from their participation in Gilas Pilipinas’ hard-fought gold medal run in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games.
Simon Camacho had 15 points for Phoenix before getting hurt in the fourth while Tio dropped 14 even as Raul Soyud (10 points and 10 rebounds) and Larry Muyang (11 points and 12 rebounds) posted double-double efforts.
Jericho Cruz’s triple put San Miguel on top 98-97 with less than four minutes left after trailing 53-27 in the second.
Two foul shots from Mo Tautuaa made it 101-98, but the Beermen would never score in the final two minutes as Phoenix scored eight in a row to take the win.
PHOENIX 106 — Camacho 15, Tio 14, Muyang 11, Garcia 11, Alejandro 10, Lojera 10, Lalata 7, Jazul 6, Atienza 2.
SAN MIGUEL 101 — Romeo 27, Herndon 21, Tautuaa 16, Cruz 12, Brondial 12, Baclao 6, Bulanadi 4, Lee 3, Saldua 0, Faundo 0.
Quarters: 37-17, 61-44, 89-78, 106-101.
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