Phoenix import Paul Harris (PBA Images)

Unbeaten Phoenix Super LPG shoots for a third win while Meralco finally gets its campaign going when they meet separate opponents Thursday, Dec, 16 in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Fuel Masters tackle the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 6 p.m. while the Bolts troop to the floor for the first time this conference against the Blackwater Bossing in the 3 p.m. opener.

Phoenix, which missed the quarters of the Philippine Cup, is off to a good start in the season-ending conference with wins over Terrafirma (104-101) and Blackwater (110-99) last week at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Import Paul Harris never missed a beat in his first PBA appearance since 2016, averaging 21.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the first two matches.

Top locals Chris Banchero (20.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 2.0 steals), Matthew Wright (12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 1.5 assists) and Jason Perkins (11.5 points and 6.0 rebounds) have also been key for coach Topex Robinson, so are unheralded reserves Sean Manganti and Simon Camacho.

Manganti and Camacho provided quality minutes during their win over the Fuel Masters.

Out to break Phoenix’s perfect slate is Rain or Shine, which is smarting from a 112-106 overtime loss to Terrafirma last Saturday. The Elasto Painters could have been 2-0 as well but squandered a fourth quarter lead before succumbing in the extension.

In the opener, Meralco looks to continue the trend of performing well in import-laden tournaments with Tony Bishop reinforcing coach Norman Black’s squad.

Bishop was a late replacement after former NBA player Shabazz Muhammad forego his stint due to a family matter.

The Bolts made the finals of the Governors’ Cup in three out of the last four editions, all with Allen Durham as import.

Blackwater remains winless after two games and will again try to end its record losing streak which now stands at 21 straight since the 2020 Philippine Cup bubble.

Source: Manila Bulletin (