Jeff Chan says Gilas hotshot Wright's return a timely boost for slumping Phoenix
Jeff Chan suffers from cramps near the end of Phoenix's loss to Star. Jaime Campos

PERHAPS Jeff Chan is no longer used to playing longer minutes in the PBA that he suffered from cramps midway through the third period of Phoenix’s game against unbeaten Star at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday night.

“Aga ko nga pinulikat e. Medyo hindi sanay sa babad,” said Chan, who still managed to light of his and the Fuel Masters' situation after a fifth straight loss, 100-81, in the Governors Cup.

“Usually 20 minutes lang ako,” he added, referring to his average playing minutes while still with Rain or Shine prior to being traded two weeks ago. “Kailangan ko talagang mag-adjust. Naninibago lang siguro ako."

For the second straight game, the veteran gunner out of Far Eastern University played extended minutes and finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. Too bad the effort wasn’t enough as the Fuel Masters continued their free-fall for a 2-5 (win-loss) slate.

[See Long layoff can't cool down Star Hotshots]

Chan said it’s normal for a team on a losing streak to feel a bit down. But all Phoenix needs is just to break the skid to lift its morale, he added.

“Actually talagang mahirap pag tuluy-tuloy ang talo mo. Siyempre hindi maiiwasan na down yung morale, walang gana,” he stressed.

“Makaisa lang, ma-break lang namin yung consecutive na talo,” said Chan of the longest losing streak in Phoenix’s short franchise history.

A welcome development for the Fuel Masters is the return of Gilas stalwart Matthew Wright. The rookie wingman showed up in street clothes and cheered the team on from the bench a day after arriving from Beirut, Lebanon where he played in the Fiba Asia Cup.

“At least good yun. Mas maraming options,” he said of Wright’s expected return for the team’s game against TnT Katropa this Friday.

Despite the losing streak, Chan said all is not lost for Phoenix.

“May four games p naman, hindi pa naman totally out,” he added. “As long as may games, we’ll keep playing play hard.”

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