IT was a bittersweet feeling for rookie Jason Perkins the first time the Phoenix franchise scored a breakthrough PBA win opposite TnT Katropa Wednesday night.
While Perkins was proud at how the Fuel Masters mounted a huge comeback to pull off the thrilling 74-72 win, he also lamented seeing Katropa Troy Rosario go down with an injury.
The freshman from De La Salle accidentally undercut Rosario as the TnT big man was going for a basket, causing him to fall face first on the floor of the MOA Arena. Perkins appeared to have been pushed from behind by a rushing Kelly Williams as seen on TV replays, causing a domino effect that resulted in Rosario’s nasty fall.
Perkins understandably refused to talk about the ‘accident,’ and hoped Rosario didn’t suffer any serious injury after being brought straight at Makati Medical Center while the game was still ongoing.
“I feel bad for Troy, of course,” was all a forlorn Perkins could utter.
But on the other hand, he felt great for the stirring win especially against a TnT side which he describes as a very ‘great team.’
“They’re (Katropa) one of the best teams in the league. They also have a lot of great players and I have a lot of respect for them,” said Perkins, who finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, but shot just 3-of-10 from the field.
“We got the win tonight and its feels great.”
The Fuel Masters climbed back at the .500 mark (4-4) following the win that put the team in a three-way tie with Barangay Ginebra and the Katropa for fourth to sixth place and very much in contention for a playoffs berth.
Matthew Wright was the main hero for Phoenix on the day he turned 27 as he drained a pressure-packed three-pointer with 44 seconds to tie the game at 72 after the team trailed by as many as 13 int he first half. He then feed the ball to Doug Kramer underneath for the go-ahead basket and complete the comeback victory.
Wright had a game-high 16 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
“I appreciate Matt as a teammate. He works so hard. You just don’t see the stuff he does other than making baskets. He directs, he passes, and does a lot,” said Perkins of the Fil-Canadian gunner.
The win, according to Perkins, was good enough for a treat by Wright on his birthday.
“All we need was a win and he gave it to us,” said Perkins who finally lightened up with a smile on his face.