Two high-scoring teams will meet head-on in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader, as the Phoenix Fuel Masters take on the NLEX Road Warriors. Phoenix is coming off a win, while NLEX is looking to get back in the win column after a loss.
Catch this game live on October 26 at 4:00 pm, Manila time.
The Phoenix Fuel Masters (3-2)
Phoenix pulled off a sensational 91-84 win over the Magnolia Hotshots last Friday. Down by as many as 17 points and 11 entering the fourth quarter of that game, the Fuel Masters managed to dig their way out of a grave by unleashing a 31-13 run in the final period.
The Fuel Masters lit up Magnolia with six 3-pointers in the fourth, while holding the Hotshots to only 5-of-22 shooting from the floor. Outside shooting has been a huge weapon for Phoenix this season. Aside from having one of the best sharpshooters in the league today in the form of Matthew Wright, Phoenix also has two stretch-bigs in Jason Perkins and Justin Chua. Perkins and Chua combined for four of the Fuel Masters’ nine threes against Magnolia. In this conference, Phoenix is drilling 12.2 3-pointers per game, second-best in the PBA.
Phoenix is also great in moving the ball around, as it is second as well in the league with 24.4 assists per game, so expect NLEX to be scrambling all over the place on defense. The Road Warriors have allowed 100.3 points in their last three games.
The NLEX Road Warriors (1-4)
It hasn’t been smooth driving for the Road Warriors this conference, as they only have a win to show in five games in the bubble. Kiefer Ravena is on a scoring barrage of late, but NLEX is putting his efforts to waste with a terrible job on defense.
After exploding for 30 points in last Wednesday’s 102-88 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier last Wednesday, Ravena had 25 points in Friday’s 101-92 loss to the Meralco Bolts. So far this conference, the former Ateneo Blue Eagles star is averaging 21.0 points on 52 FG%, 3.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
Nevertheless, NLEX will keep on relying on Ravena along with Kevin Alas, who is putting up 15.8 points to go with 7.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. There aren’t many guard combos in the PBA that’s more talented than Ravena and Alas. Against Phoenix’ shallow backcourt, the duo of Alas and Ravena should be able to take advantage. NLEX is also hoping Myke Ayonayon to bounce back after laying an egg against Meralco. He had 18 points versus NorthPort.
The high-scoring Fuel Masters will have fun shooting the lights out in this game opposite NLEX’s problematic defense. Phoenix wins this game, 105-98.