Phoenix lacked sense of urgency in loss to NLEX that put playoff bid in peril, rues Matthew Wright
Matthew Wright set a new career-high with 42 points but was hardly enough to prevent Phoenix's loss to NLEX. Jerome Ascano

ANTIPOLO – Matthew Wright played down his offensive explosion on Saturday, stressing Phoenix didn’t play with a sense of urgency as unit in its 116-114 loss to NLEX in their last game in the eliminations of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The Fuel Masters rookie sensation registered a new career-high of 42 points on 15-of-25 shooting from the field and 7-of-10 from the foul line, on top of five boards, and four assists in just 32 minutes, but the individual brilliance was hardly enough to lead his team to a win.

As a result, the Fuel Masters dropped to ninth spot with a 4-7 win-loss record, their playoff bid in peril as they now wait for the results of other teams.

“Our playoff fate isn't in our hands anymore,” Wright said. “We gotta wait and see [and] hope for some teams to lose, but I don't really like it -- I don't believe in that kind of fate. We didn’t handle our business.”

“We didn't play like a team that’s desperate for a win today,” he added. “NLEX has no shot of making the playoffs, and they came out in the first quarter scoring like thirty-something points. I think that was the difference-maker.”

[See Strong exit for NLEX with gritty win over Phoenix]

Still, Wright’s offensive onslaught was notable as he topped his previous personal record of 27 points the Gilas gunner registered in a win over Ginebra in Davao last month.

The 42 points was also the most by a local since Terrence Romeo fired 44 points last January against Rain or Shine.

“I was just making shots in the third quarter trying to keep my team within the game,” Wright said. “My main focus was just trying to narrow the gap because we were down double-digits the entire game.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos