McKay’s 42-22 powers Phoenix

By Nelson Beltran


Matthew Wright of Phoenix squeezes his way out of the double team defense of Sonny Thoss (left) and Bryan Cruz of Alaska. JUN MENDOZA

MANILA, Philippines - Jameel McKay poured in a PBA high of 42 points in a hyperactive performance before going down with cramps with 1:22 left to play as Phoenix Petroleum clobbered a crippled Alaska Milk side, 94-86, to bolster its playoff hopes in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

McKay also hauled down 22 rebounds in delivering only the second 40-point and 20-rebound game in the tourney and drew clutch efforts from former Aces Cyrus Baguio and RJ Jazul as Phoenix pulled off its first win over Alaska.

Redeeming itself from a sorry loss to Rain or Shine the last time out, Phoenix closed in on joint fifth placers Alaska (4-2), Star (4-2) and ROS (4-2) with a third win against four losses.

McKay, Baguio and Jazul all responded to the challenge of their coach on the eve of the match.

“I showed Jameel a write-up where he’s not included among the Top Five best imports in the tourney. Maybe because we’re not winning games,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia.

“I met with him along with Cyrus and RJ Wednesday. But it was really about Cyrus and RJ. I reminded them, ‘yes, Alaska is your team before but you’re with us now,’” Vanguardia said. “They’re too nice. We’re actually too nice. I asked them ‘let’s be physical with them. Let’s match their physicality.’”

McKay came out extra hard, even enduring cramps until he went down to the floor unable to move anymore.

“He was cramping with eight minutes left to play. But he continued to play as he really wanted to win,” said Vanguardia of McKay, the second player to record a 40-point and 20-rebound game after Eugene Phelps piled up 53 markers and 21 boards in Phoenix’s first game in the tourney.

Donte Greene erupted for 33 points and 10 rebounds with four local teammates contributing double-digit outputs as TNT KaTropa smothered GlobalPort, 109-88, for a fifth win against a loss in the nightcap.

The Texters dished out an impeccable game coming from an 11-day break and finally pulled off a dominant win after three successive escape acts versus Blackwater (92-89), NLEX (126-121 in overtime) and Mahindra (86-84).

The scores:

First Game

PHOENIX 94 – McKay 42, Baguio 12, Jazul 10, Wright 7, Borboran 7, Kramer 6, Alolino 5, Miranda 5, Torres 0, Dehesa 0.

ALASKA 86 – Jefferson 31, Casio 14, Thoss 8, Exciminiano 6, Racal 6, Mendoza 6, Enciso 5, Cruz 3, Dela Cruz 3, Hontiveros 2, Andrada 2, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 25-19, 42-36, 66-62, 94-86

Second Game

TNT 109 – Greene 33, Castro 15, De Ocampo 14, Fonacier 12, Pogoy 10, Tautuaa 7, Williams 6, Rosario 5, Reyes 3, Rosales 2, Rosser 2, Tamsi 0, Hernandez 0, Golla 0, Carey 0.

GLOBALPORT 88 – White 21, Romeo 20, Quiñahan 19, Pringle 15, Pessumal 5, Cortez 4, Forrester 3, Mamaril 1, Ababou 0, Maierhofer 0, Paredes 0, Aban 0, Pennisi 0.

Quarterscores: 27-22, 56-49, 77-65, 109-88

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