Jason Perkins drained two charities with 7.2 seconds left then Phoenix Pulse put a crucial stoppage as the Fuel Masters squeezed out a 98-96 win over a crippled but fierce-fighting NorthPort team in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday.
Perkins broke the 96-all count on his free throws then the Fuel Masters applied a swarming defense to complete the win, enabling the team to put one foot into the post-elims play.
“Our character defensively, nag-i-improve. Four of our six won games, galing sa defensive stop,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas who also mentioned the absence of Stanley Pringle as a big break they enjoyed in the game.
Minus Pringle, Tautuaa, Anthony, Nico Elorde, Robert Bolick and Paolo Taha shared the scoring load for NorthPort, all delivering double-digit outputs.
Wright had poured in 22 points before picking a sixth foul.