Phoenix Pulse barged back into the winning column by edging Alaska 78-76 in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at Araneta Coliseum Saturday.
After leading for most of the game, the Fuel Masters found themselves in a precarious position after Chris Banchero tied the game at 76-all by sinking a basket off Vic Manuel’s long pass.
But Phoenix’s Alex Mallari fed Justin Chua the perfect assist that led to the latter’s go-ahead layup sealing the deal for Phoenix.
Richard Howell was a monster in the paint for the Fuel Masters with 29 rebounds, 24 points, 3 assists and a block.
Mallari also played a major role in the win with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assist, one that led to Chua’s winning basket.
The victory was a perfect gift to Phoenix coach Louie Alas, who returned for the first time since serving a 2-game suspension.
It was their second win in 5 games.
Alaska, led by Banchero’s 18 points, fell to 4-3.
Their new import Nino Johnson struggled with 6 points and 4 rebounds.
Phoenix 78 - Howell 24, Mallari 15, Wright 14, Chua 10, Intal 6, Revilla 6, Perkins 2, Jazul 1, Kramer 0, Marcelo 0, Wilson 0, Dennison 0.
Alaska 76 - Banchero 18, Manuel 10, Thoss 8, Racal 8 Teng 6, Johnson 6, Casio 6, Cruz 6, Pascual 2, Enciso 2, Exciminiano 2, Ayaay 2, Galliguez 0.
Quarterscores: 16-12, 35-30, 52-50, 78-76.
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