Strong 4th quarter propels Phoenix past Magnolia, 89-87

Phoenix Pulse is almost there – clinching a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals, that is.

With another monster game from Calvin Abueva and clutch hits from Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins, the Fuel Masters grinded out an 89-87 win over the Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots to solidify their hold of the lead in the PBA Philippine Cup elims at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.

Abueva came through with another double-double game with 24 points and 13 rebounds that went with five assists and two steals, then Wright and Perkins took over, knocking down a pair of big treys inside the final minute as Phoenix salvaged the game where they trailed by 17 points early on.

With the come-from-behind victory, the Fuel Masters (8-1) moved a game and a half ahead of closest pursuers the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (7-3).

“We’re almost there, but we still have to win one more game,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas on their bid to nail a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters.

Phoenix has San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra as last two assignments in the elims.

The scores:

Phoenix 89 – Abueva 24, Jazul 19, Wright 14, Perkins 12, Mallari 8, Chua 6, Kramer 4, Dennison 2, Revilla 0, Mendoza 0, Marcelo 0.

Magnolia 87 – Lee 16, Barroca 16, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 10, Dela Rosa 10, Reavis 7, Brondial 6, Gamalinda 4, Ramos 3, Melton 2, Herndon 2.

Quarterscores: 13-17, 39-44, 63-69, 89-87.

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