The Phoenix LPG Fuel Masters have finally scored a win in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, snapping their three-game losing skid to start the conference in a 111-97 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors. Can they sustain their form and pull off an upset this Friday against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, who just became the first team to beat the Bay Area Dragons last Sunday, defeating the guest squad convincingly, 111-93.
Catch this game live on Friday, October 14 at 5:45 pm, Manila time.
Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (1-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Tyler Tio
- SG: Simon Camacho
- SF: Javee Mocon
- PF: Simon Camacho
- C: Kaleb Wesson
The win over NLEX says a lot about the character of Phoenix, a team that is amidst ownership turmoil but managed to come together and secure a comfortable victory. And the Fuel Masters did that without being too dependent on import Kaleb Wesson, who powered his way through for 22 points and 21 rebounds, but got immense support from the pair of locals in Tyler Tio and Javee Mocon.
Tio dropped 26 points with five triples on the Road Warriors, while Mocon posted 23 points, 6 assists, and 9 rebounds. Phoenix shot 41% from deep in the NLEX game, drilling 16 threes on 39 attempts. This is also the same team that shot 11/29 from behind the arc in the loss to Bay Area. Phoenix can shoot the ball, and that could be enough to push Ginebra into a corner.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Scottie Thompson
- SG: Stanley Pringle
- SF: Jamie Malonzo
- PF: Justin Brownlee
- C: Japeth Aguilar
Ginebra just showed how hard it really is to beat it. Even the previously undefeated Dragons fell prey to the Barangay, which dominated Bay Area on both ends of the floor. Ginebra shot 47% from the field and went to the line 15 times to just two by Bay Area. The Barangay also had a +9 advantage in rebounds over the Dragons and were +14 in points off turnovers. Justin Brownlee isn’t a miracle worker, but he sure is making things happen for the Barangay, thanks in large part to his unmatched familiarity playing alongside the locals.
Brownlee skewered the Dragons for 46 points, while Jamie Malonzo, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Stanley Pringle each had several golden moments. Phoenix can’;t be taken for granted, but the Barangay’s efficient attack and its stout defense are going to be huge headaches for the Fuel Masters. Ginebra’s conference-opening loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters either feels like it happened so long ago or it did not even occur at all with the way Tim Cone’s squad has been playing of late.
Spread: Ginebra (-8.5) covers.
Over/Under: The total (192.5) hits the Under.