PBA: Phoenix's close bond offcourt translating into on-court chemistry

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2020 04:56 PM

PBA: Phoenix's close bond offcourt translating into on-court chemistry 1
Calvin Abueva of Phoenix Super LPG puts up a shot over the TerraFirma defense. PBA Media Bureau. 

MANILA, Philippines -- The Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters put on a passing clinic on Tuesday when they crushed TerraFirma, 116-94, in their 2020 PBA Philippine Cup game at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The Fuel Masters dished out a combined 33 assists, with Calvin Abueva accounting for 10, and Matthew Wright adding six. Abueva actually finished with a triple-double, as he also had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the game.

For Wright, who fired 33 points built on six three-pointers, the chemistry they showed on the court was developed through their bond off of it.

"We're very close, there's no question about that. Everybody on the team is friends, you know, not just on the court, but off the court as well," said Wright, who shot 13-of-21 from the field and added five steals to his line. 

"I think that's gonna bode well for us as we continue our playoff push. It's very important for the players to get along 'cause we're all confined in one hotel," he added. 

"So you know, obviously sometimes we get on each other in practice, but you know, we all love each other and today we showed it on the basketball court. We manifested it on the basketball court."

Phoenix Super LPG's pinpoint passing confounded the TerraFirma defense, and they wound up shooting over 51% from the field in the game. 

Over and over again, the Fuel Masters found open teammates. Abueva, in particular, repeatedly rewarded his teammates for cutting into the post with quick dishes. 

Head coach Topex Robinson said their passing display is a sign that the Fuel Masters are buying into culture that they are trying to develop within the team.

"We always preach about service. We always talk about how you're gonna make your teammate look good. It's always about one more pass," Robinson explained. "We always make sure that we don't just do it in practice, we do it in the game."

"Just like what Matt said, we also do it outside of the court. That's really what we really want it to be. That's what we wanna embrace, and we have to always keep it alive," he added.

With the result, Phoenix Super LPG bounced back from a loss to the Alaska Aces last week, improving their record to 5-3.