Phoenix seized control early and went on to rout NLEX, 123-97, in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Behind import Eugene Phleps, the Fuel Masters jumped to a 34-18 lead in the opening period and kept the Road Warriors at bay the rest of the way for their sixth win in eight games.
Phelps finished with 51 points and 20 rebounds. Calvin Abueva had 17 markers, seven boards, and a pair of assists.
Matthew Wright chipped in 10 points, while Jason Perkins and Willie Wilson combined for 17 points.
"It was a good bounce back game for us. We told the players we couldn't lose twice in a row. They did it. And now we're back," said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas.
Heading into the break, the high-scoring reinforcement already churned out 28 and 11 rebounds. He refused to ease on the gas pedal and torched their foes who were missing the services of Alex Mallari who sprained his right ankle during Monday's practice.
NLEX fell to a 4-4 card despite Herculean efforts from import Aaron Fuller, who put up a tour-de-force performance of 38 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and the same number of blocks.
Pedrito Galanza and Larry Fonacier had 13 and 10 points, respectively.
NLEX didn't look like the team which had a rousing start to the conference. And it was understandable. With Mallari out, the Road Warriors missed three of their top guards with Kevin Alas still recovering from knee injury and Kiefer Ravena serving suspension.
Juami Tiongson, Emman Monfort, and Mac Tallo combined for 16 points.
Phoenix 123 - Phelps 51, Abueva 17, Wright 10, Perkins 9,Wilson 8, Intal 7, Revilla 5, Jazul 3, Guevarra 3, Mendoza 3, Eriobu 3, Gamboa 2, Chua 2, Kramer 0, Alolino 0.
NLEX 97 - Fuller 38, Galanza 13, Fonacier 10, Tiongson 6, Monfort 5, Quinahan 4, Ighalo 4, Marcelo 3, Baguio 3, Rios 3, Miranda 3, Tallo 3, Soyud 2, Paniamogan 0, Taulava 0.
Quarterscores: 34-18, 71-33, 94-67, 123-97
- NLEX has gone 1-1 since head coach Yeng Guiao returned from a coaching stint in the Asian Games and the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
- Louie Alas celebrated his 55th birthday on Wednesday.
- Only Doug Kramer and Gelo Alolino wound up scoreless for Phoenix, which fielded in 15 players in Wednesday's match.
Phoenix - vs San Miguel on October 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena
NLEX - vs Meralco on October 14 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum