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Phoenix beats NorthPort for last quarterfinals seat



RR Garcia showed the way for Phoenix in the closing stretch as the Fuel Masters secured the last quarterfinals seat in a 101-98 win over NorthPort, 101-98, in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.

The Phoenix guard drilled 16 of his 19 points in the second half, igniting the Fuel Masters fight back from 15 points down to book a showdown against top seed Magnolia. The Hotshots are armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.

Import DuVaughn Maxwell finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in 48 minutes of action, while Jason Perkins added 18 markers and 11 boards off the bench for Phoenix.

Garcia stepped up for the struggling Matthew Wright as he drilled a pivotal trey to put Phoenix ahead, 82-79, with 10:13 remaining.

The Batang Pier, however, engaged in a see-saw battle until Arwind Santos fired a long bomb to regain the lead, 97-98, 1:29 left.

Wright, who was limited to only 11 points tonight, scored on an and-one play before Garcia iced the game from the stripe with 19 seconds left.

Despite its five starters scoring in double-digits, NorthPort ended its season on a frustrating note, squandering what was once a 16-31 lead in the opening period.

Jamel Artis’ team-high 21 point-performance went down the drain, while Robert Bolick had 19 markers for the Batang Pier.


The Scores:

PHOENIX (101) — Maxwell 31, Garcia 19, Perkins 18, Jazul 11, Wright 11, Demusis 4, Rios 3, Manganti 2, Melecio 2, Pascual 0, Robles 0.

NORTHPORT (98) –– Artis 21, Bolick 19, Malonzo 15, Santos 14, Sumang 14, Ferrer 6, Balanza 4, Rike 3, Taha 2.

QUARTERS: 18-31, 46-55, 76-79, 101-98