Dec 01, 2023

Fuel Masters not taking FiberXers lightly

PHOENIX Super LPG is on a hot roll and Converge is seemingly on the dumps, but that is no true gauge of how their match would turn out Saturday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the PhilSports Arena.

At least as far as Jonathan Williams III is concerned going to the match, which has his Fuel Masters gunning for a fifth win in six games against a FiberXers crew that has yet to notch a win after four outings.

"It doesn't matter to me who's the best team, who's the worst team. I just come out there to play and give it my all. That's how I look at it," said Williams.

Game time is 3 p.m.

Phoenix coach Jamike Jarin has to concur even while being reminded that usual upper-tier teams like Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel Beer, Meralco, and TNT lurk on his team's horizon.

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"There's no easy game here in the PBA," said Jarin before adding his team will deal with those so-called "super teams" when their turn against his side comes.

"So right now, we're playing Converge so we will be preparing for Converge," stated Jarin. "But eventually we'll be preparing for Barangay Ginebra. So right now, we're gonna prepare one game at a time."

Jarin and Williams spoke after Phoenix fashioned a 103-84 drubbing of Terrafirma last Wednesday. In that game, the former NBA campaigner tallied 29 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists while leading a decisive second-quarter surge that gave the Fuel Masters full control.

Williams, however, deflected some of the credit to his teammates. "I can't do it all by myself, so I just need the whole team to play well, not just me," he said.

"That's how we'll continue to grow. We're a young team so we need each other on and off the court. We need to continue to grow to keep seizing wins."

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Despite its record, Converge is indeed not to be trifled with, as shown in its 96-105 loss to SMB last week at the Tiaong Convention Center in Quezon.

In that game, the FiberXers grittily fought back from an 18-point deficit to threaten within 84-85, only to get stymied by a June Mar Fajardo-led wind-up by the Beermen.

A little fine-tuning in its offense, more so in the 3-point area where it is currently shooting at a woeful 29 percent clip, and preventing Williams from getting his usual numbers (26.2 points, 13.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists) should give Converge a better chance of winning. (NC)