In Phoenix’s past two games, Ed Daquioag and Mac Belo carried the team to victory with their huge scoring outbursts.
But on Monday, it was Mike Tolomia’s turn to take the spotlight, exploding in the first quarter to lift the Accelerators over AMA Online Education.
Making the most of the opportunity as the team’s main gunner, Tolomia buried 14 points in the opening period to ignite a huge run which allowed the Accelerators to take a 23-point lead, 70-47.
He finished the game with 27 points, four assists, and three rebounds as Phoenix notched its third win in as many games in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
For the Far Eastern University guard, his performance is just a testament to the team’s depth.
“Yun talaga ang advantage namin against other teams, yung lalim ng rotation namin. Kahit sino, pwede mag-step up anytime.”
Phoenix coach Eric Gonzales opted to rest Belo and Roger Pogoy, who are both nursing hamstring injuries. That set the stage for Tolomia’s big night as he kept his squad at the top of the standings.
But for the 23-year-old, he wants to temper expectations with the Accelerators, who ruled the Aspirants Cup, being tagged as the favorites to repeat.
“Hindi naman kami nape-pressure. Ang focus namin is one game at a time kaya yung preparation namin, naka-focus lang din for that game,” he said.
Tolomia, however, acknowledges that Phoenix still has a lot of work to do.
“Kailangan pa naming maging consistent as a team,” the 6-foot-1 Tolomia said. “Yung second unit din, kailangan mapantayan yung ilalaro ng first unit or higitan nila yung nilaro namin. Yung iba sa second unit, di pa ganoon ka-ready at humahabol pa sila sa sistema at samahan namin sa loob ng court. Pero tiwala naman ako na natututo na rin sila.”