Phoenix nips Magnolia to book semifinals seat

·1 min read

Matthew Wright canned a difficult three-pointer just seconds remaining to lift the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters to a thrilling 89-88 win over the Magnolia Hotshots in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.

The victory booked the Fuel Masters’ ticket to the semifinal round while also putting an end to Magnolia’s campaign in the Philippine Cup.

For a moment, it seemed as if Magnolia would force a rubbermatch after big man Ian Sangalang sank short jumper with 2:05 to go. Phoenix had a shot at tying the game but Calvin Abueva missed two free-throws with 47 seconds left in the game. Phoenix, though, regained possession after Sangalang threw an errant pass that sailed out of bounds on the ensuing possession.

The Fuel Masters then took advantage as Wright, despite incredible pressure from Mark Barroca, managed to elude his defender before leaning in to hit a running three-pointer that swished through the net to give Phoenix an 89-88 lead with just nine ticks left on the clock.

Magnolia still had a shot at stealing the win but Paul Lee missed a fadeaway jumper from the left wing right before time expired to give Phoenix the victory.

Wright’s heroic shot was a fitting finale to his huge 32-point, five-rebound, nine-assist performance. Jason Perkins chipped in 16 points, six boards and three assists.

Lee led Magnolia with 17 points but the crafty two-guard had an off night, missing 11 of his 14 shots. (JNP)