The Phoenix Fuelmasters made crucial stops down the stretch to weather fourth quarter storm of the defending champs San Miguel Beermen to finally register their first win and save them from falling to 0-2 start.
JC Intal hit a dagger that served as the finishing touch to complete the upset over SMB, 92-85. Topscoring the game with 22 points, Intal got a lot of help from other teammates as five other players scored in double figures.
Simon Enciso was the one who lit the fire on the Phoenix side after knocking down five three-pointers all in the third period to give his team a 14-point cushion coming into the final quarter, finishing the game with another solid output of 15 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and BPG award together with debuting rookie Matthew Wright who garnered 14 markers and 8 boards.
With a double-digit deficit entering the fourth, the Philippine Cup title holders did not just roll over and die after almost completing a fightback led by reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo who had a splendid production of 19 markers and 23 rebounds.
SMB closed to within a point in the last two minutes of the game before Intal’s dagger three proved to be the nail in the coffin.