PHOENIX came through with a fiery explosion just three days before New Year's eve.
The Fuel Masters willed themselves back from 26-points down to complete an epic 101-99 win over the Globalport Batang Pier in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome on Wednesday night.
Underrated forward Mark Borboran capped the mighty Phoenix comeback by tipping in a Simon Enciso three-point miss with 2.1 seconds left for the go-ahead basket.
Terrence Romeo then threw a wayward three-pointer that was completely out of line at the buzzer as the Fuel Masters celebrated at midcourt following the dramatic win.
"I just told them to play," said coach Ariel Vanguardia when asked what he told his players when the chips were down.
"We never quit and that's the most important," added the emotional Phoenix coach, who dedicated the win to his late mentor Bong Go.
Borboran had 12 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, while adding eight rebounds, none more important than the one grabbed off JR Quinahan that paved the way for the winning basket.
Rookie Matthew Wright finished with 19 and Simon Enciso added 14 for the Fuel Masters, who improved to 4-3 overall after winning their second straight game.
Terrence Romeo fired 32 points on a fiery 6-of-13 shooting from three-point range to lead the way for GlobalPort, which played minus head coach Franz Pumaren who is on an official business trip abroad.
Romeo, however, went cold when the Batang Pier needed him most the moment the Fuel Masters began to apply the zone.
The Batang Pier, who fell to an even 3-3 card, had their biggest lead at 87-61 on a basket by KG Canaleta.
Nobody ever thought at that point that the Fuel Masters would forge a big comeback. Overall, Phoenix outscored Globalport in the payoff period, 40-15.