Phoenix Pulse recovered from a sluggish first half and relied on Matthew Wright’s hot-shooting to pull off a 97-87 victory over erstwhile streaking NorthPort, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Wright provided the firepower in the payoff period as the Fuel Masters thwarted any comeback attempts by the Batang Pier to secure their 3rd win in 7 starts while dealing the Mikee Romero-owned squad its 2nd defeat in 9 games.
The 28-year old Fil-Canadian finished with a game-high 28 points on 4 of 8 shooting from long distance to go along with 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.
“We beat them enough sa rebounding battle na isa sa mga gusto naming ipanalo,” said Phoenix Pulse coach Louie Alas. “When we looked at the stats ng NorthPort kasi, one of their biggest strengths is rebounding. Ang dami nilang second chance points. So extra 10 possessions na yan for us.”
Richard Howell, who was charged with a technical foul for his verbal altercation with Batang Pier coach Pido Jarencio during the 8-minute mark of the 4th, came through with 18 points and 15 boards while RJ Jazul and Jason Perkins contributed 17 and 12 points, respectively.
Mo Tautuaa paced NorthPort, which had its 4-game winning streak snapped, with 19 points. New recruit Kevin Ferrer had another solid game as the former Gin King finished with 18 points, including 4 triples, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
Phoenix Pulse 97 – Wright 28, Howell 18, Jazul 17, Perkins 12, Mallari 11, Chua 6, Intal 3, Napoles 2, Kramer 0, Marcelo 0, Wilson 0, Dennison 0.
NorthPort 87 – Tautuaa 19, Ferrer 18, Anthony 16, Ibeh 12, Bolick 11, Taha 6, Lanete 3, Cruz 2, Mercado 0, Arana 0.
Quarterscores: 19-28, 39-43, 64-51, 97-87.