Phoenix is determined to end a long winless spell against TNT and Matthew Wright made it happen.
With Wright leading those who made the biggest plays in the endgame the Fuel Masters carved out a pulsating 74-72 upset over the KaTropa Wednesday to get back on track in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Wright celebrated his 27th birthday in the most auspicious way, first booming in a triple to tie the game up at 72 before issuing a nifty pass to Doug Kramer, whose one-handed short stab pushed the Fuel Masters ahead, only 3.0 seconds left.
After TNT used up its last two timeouts to set up at least an equalizing play, Kramer then forced Kelly Williams to miss on his drive, sealing Phoenix’s fourth win in as many games.
For coach Louie Alas, his team’s two-rung climb from a share of seventh is as satisfying as the franchise’s first win in six meetings with TNT.
“Iyon talaga ang goal namin, fourth to sixth, para may chance sa best-of-three sa playoffs,” said Alas, referring to the duels in the quarterfinals should his team finish within the circle following the 11-game eliminations.
Phoenix 74 – Wright 16, Chan 11, Alolino 10, Perkins 8, Kramer 8, Wilson 8, Jazul 5, Chua 4, Mendoza 4, Dehesa 0, Cortes 0, Eriobu 0, Intal 0, Revilla 0.
TNT 72 – Semerad 12, Pogoy 10, Castro 9, Tautuaa 9, Williams 8, Tamsi 5, Reyes 5, Carey 4, Rosario 4, Garcia 3, Torres 3.
Quarters: 20-24, 30-40, 56-61, 74-72.