Phoenix Super LPG pulled through in a wildly entertaining back-and-forth affair, outlasting Rain or Shine 99-98 in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center.
It was a game of runs as Phoenix built a 27-16 first quarter lead only to see Rain or Shine storm back. The Fuel Masters again regained control with a 16-0 blast in the fourth period to grab a 90-78 advantage.
But the Elasto Painters refused to go away, igniting their own rally to cut it to 98-99 in the final minute. Jonathan Williams split his charities off a foul by Ray Nambatac with 1.3 seconds left to preserve the nail-biting victory for Phoenix.
Williams finished with 29 points, 18 rebounds and 7 assists to help Phoenix bounce back from a blowout loss to Magnolia in their previous outing. Jason Perkins backed him up with 14 points.
The Fuel Masters improved to 2-1 despite going just 9-of-22 from the foul line.
Rain or Shine suffered its third straight defeat for a 0-3 record despite the efforts of Nambatac, who had a team-high 17 points.
Phoenix appeared headed for an easy win after erecting a 13-point lead midway through the third period. But the Elasto Painters uncorked a searing 22-7 run to grab a 79-77 edge early in the fourth quarter.
The Fuel Masters quickly responded with their 16-0 blast to regain control. Rain or Shine still fought back to get within one, 98-99, after back-to-back triples by Jhonard Clarito and Leonard Santillan with 33 ticks left.
After a collison going for a loose ball, Williams was fouled by Nambatac in the final seconds. Williams missed both charities but Rain or Shine no longer had enough time left as Phoenix escaped with the thrilling victory.