PHOENIX spoiled Vernon Macklin’s PBA comeback and Magnolia’s Commissioner’s Cup debut behind a dramatic 89-87 win Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Matthew Wright hit a clutch three-pointer in the final 3.2 seconds as the Fuel Masters finally took the upperhand, 88-87, and capped a comeback from as much as a 16-point deficit.
Wright added a free throw later on after the Hotshots were whistled for a technical foul for calling a timeout they didn’t have to seal Phoenix’s second win in three outings.
"Kung may pride kayo, then we just play," coach Louie Alas told the Fuel Masters at a time his team was down 62-46 in the third quarter.
"Pero kung hindi ninyo dadalhin yung pride ninyo, then we stay here," he added. "We're very flat the whole 24 minutes, and this is not about X's and O's anymore."
Without a timeout, Peter June Simon hoisted a hurried three-pointer that missed its mark at the buzzer.
Wright finished with 19 points to share scoring honor with import James White, who added 17 rebounds, while Willie Wilson had 17 points and nine rebounds and teamed up with Wright in the Fuel Masters' fourth-quarter surge.
Macklin led the Hotshpts with 25 points and 17 rebounds in his first game back in the league since the 2013 finals of this same tournament while still playing for Barangay Ginebra.
But he only had two in the payoff period when the Fuel Masters leaned on a 10-0 run going home to make a game out of it.
The Hotshots led for the last time, 87-85, on a split from the free-throw line by Paul Lee, before Wright nailed that huge step-back three off a timeout to give Phoenix back the lead with 3.2 seconds left.
Victolero then signalled for a timeout even though the Hotshots no longer have one, leading to a technical free throw by Wright.
"They left the door open and we just took advantage," said Wright about the wild finish.
PHOENIX (89) - Wright 19, White 19, Wilson 17, Perkins 16, Chan 6, Jazul 4, Chua 3, Kramer 2, Intal 2, Revilla 1, Mendoza 0, Alolino 0.
MAGNOLIA (87) - Macklin 25, Lee 20, Sangalang 12, Dela Rosa 10, Jalalon 6, Herndon 6, Barroca 5, Simon 2, Brondial 1, Reavis 0, Gamalinda 0, Ramos 0.
Quarterscores: 17-24, 35-45, 63-70, 89-87.