Jazul’s big night lifts Phoenix against Rain or Shine in PBA PHL Cup

RJ Jazul’s huge night helped Phoenix clinch a win over Rain or Shine. (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

RJ Jazul’s waxing-hot night propelled the Phoenix Fuel Masters against the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, 106-102, in the ongoing 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.

Answering the call when the Fuel Masters needed him the most, Jazul buried the clutch three-point basket with 33 seconds left in the game that extended their lead to six, 106-100.

It was a huge basket for Phoenix after Rey Nambatac sank a much-needed trey that pulled the Elastopainters within three points, 103-100.

Jazul ran a screen play with Jason Perkins at the left elbow that caused Santi Santillan to sag off and was late in contesting his three-point basket.

Rain or Shine came back moments later with a beautifully-designed inbound play to Gabe Norwood that trimmed Phoenix’s lead to four, 106-102, but Nambatac missed his three-point attempt that would’ve turned the ball game into a single possession with 10 seconds left in the clock.

Jazul capped off his sizzling performance with a team-high 25 points, an assist, and was 6/8 from the three-point range.

The sweet-shooting guard from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran ended the night with a 7/10 from the field and made up for Matthew Wright and Javee Mocon’s shooting woes.

Phoenix controlled the tempo for most of the game but a huge Rain or Shine run in the second half cut the latter’s 18-point lead and showed signs of life who had 27 from the returning Nambatac.

Nambatac’s eruption turned the game into a dogfight but Wright and Perkins responded with their personal offensive runs that kept their lead in the final canto.

With the win, the Fuel Masters have won back-to-back games and are back in the playoff picture while the Elastopainters continued to struggle and dropped to 1-3.