Jun 01, 2023

Phoenix tries to keep clean slate against Rain or Shine

STAYING hot is the order of the day as roaring Phoenix Super LPG takes on Rain or Shine Friday night in the PBA on Tour's Antipolo swing at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Fuel Masters have racked up big victories over San Miguel Beer (106-101) and Meralco (100-93) despite an undermanned roster and they intend to stretch this to three in the 7:30 p.m. outing.

Coach Jamike Jarin has drawn inspired outings from his complement of nine or 10 healthy players, led by big men Raul Soyud and Larry Muyang, in the preseason tilt presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus.

Soyud is averaging 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the two outings while youthful Muyang is good for 12 markers and 12 boards per game.

Coming off an injury-hit stint in his first conference with Phoenix, the former UP Maroon is determined to spread his wings this season.

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"Noong last conference, parati akong injured kaya sabi ko sa sarili ko, kailangan ko ring magpababa ng timbang para makalaro nang mas maayos pa," said Soyud, whose 21-point, 13-rebound performance was a big boost to Phoenix's gritty win over the Bolts.

The Elasto Painters, themselves, are off to a strong start.

Coach Yeng Guiao's troops looked good in a 117-93 drubbing of NLEX led by Anton Asistio and Rey Nambatac and are bent to sustain the momentum from this.

ROS and Phoenix were involved in separate trades recently to get new personnel with the Fuel Masters acquired Reden Celda and Tzaddy Rangel from NLEX and the Elasto Painters signing up Mac Belo, their trade acquisition from Meralco.

Depending on the situation, the trio may make their debut with their new teams in this matchup. (OL)