In crucial match for both sides, Phoenix catches Globalport napping on defense

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Phoenix Fuel Masters vs GlobalPort Batang Pier. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

With the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs just around the corner, one slipup could mean the difference between making it and watching it.

Teams at the top of the standings are still unsure of their predicaments, and those at the middle of the ladder have it worse.

And Globalport is one of those teams whose quarterfinals future is as blurry as pier water.

The Batang Pier dropped to 4-5 after losing horribly to Phoenix, 135-108, Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum and they lost a vital chance of strengthening their bid for a quarterfinals spot as they still remain at the middle of the table.

READ: PBA: Phoenix makes case for quarterfinals spot, sinks Globalport 

“Phoenix had to win to stay alive, those guys came out playing ready with their backs against the wall,” said forward Sean Anthony who had 15 points and seven boards. “We came in and we weren’t ready for that so now our backs are against the wall.”

The Fuel Masters exploited the Batang Pier’s porous defense scoring on a 55.2 percent clip, 48-of-87, including 13-of-32 from deep.

Phoenix also capitalized on Globalport’s 19 turnovers scoring on 33 points off the Batang Pier’s miscues.

“It’s all our fault, it’s Globalport’s fault, we played terrible defense and terrible help defense,” said big man Kelly Nabong who finished with five rebounds and five assists. “We didn’t challenge shots that much, they made some pretty great shots and there’s nothing you can do if they make shots.”

Globalport, though, can’t do anything about the result but move on and try to bounce back in its next two games.

Malcolm White said its imperative for them to forget about the loss and get back up.

“We just got to put this behind us, we got to have a short term memory of the game,” said White who led the Batang Pier with 24 points and six rebounds. “They [the Fuel Masters] needed to get this win, we also needed this win but they jumped out on us.”

“We couldn’t that push we need,” added White. “Hats off to them, they played hard, they played tough, and they deserved to win.”

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