Phoenix books last semis berth in PBA

PIVOTAL. Phoenix Super LPG import Johnathan Williams III led the team over the Meralco Bolts with 21 points and 16 rebounds during their  PBA game on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
PIVOTAL. Phoenix Super LPG import Johnathan Williams III led the team over the Meralco Bolts with 21 points and 16 rebounds during their PBA game on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. PBA

THE Phoenix Super LPG barged into the semifinals for the first time in three years with an 88-84 win over the hard-fighting Meralco Bolts in their winner-take-all quarterfinals showdown in the PBA on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Phoenix will now move on to the semifinals, where the team will battle the top-ranked Magnolia Hotshots in a best-of-five affair that begins on Wednesday.

Import Johnathan Williams III had 21 points and 16 boards to power Phoenix to the next round. Jason Perkins added 19 markers and 13 boards, even as Javee Mocon got 11 points and nine rebounds. Ken Tuffin pitched in 10 points for the resilient Phoenix side, which had to go the long route to earn their spot in the Final Four.

Phoenix led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter before Meralco trimmed it down to four, 75-79, with six minutes left in the game. But that would be the Bolts’ last hurrah as Tuffin, Williams, and Perkins hit some big-time shots in crunchtime to help Phoenix preserve their lead.

Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge and Allein Maliksi had 15 points apiece for Meralco.

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