by Jonas Terrado
Phoenix Pulse rallied from 14 points down behind a 45-point third quarter to stun defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 111-103, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Matthew Wright scored 32 points, import Richard Howell had 31 points and 21 rebounds and Jason Perkins produced 18 points and five rebounds as the Fuel Masters won their second in a row despite the ejection of coach Louie Alas.
Alas was tossed for two technical fouls in the fourth but lead assistant Topex Robinson and the rest of the coaching staff were able to put Phoenix in a three-way tie for fifth with Ginebra and Alaska at 4-4.
Justin Brownlee scored 31 points but was left to carry the weight during Ginebra’s failed bid to mount a comeback.
Ginebra led 56-44 at the hald and 64-50 early in the third when Phoenix unleashed its big run to enter the fourth up 89-81, much to the astonishment of coach Tim Cone and the Ginebra faithful.
Phoenix 111 – Wright 32, Howell 31, Perkins 18, Chua 12, Jazul 6, Mallari 4, Intal 3, Wilson 3, Kramer 2, Marcelo 0, Napoles 0, Dennison 0.
Ginebra 103 – Brownlee 31, Tenorio 20, Aguilar 17, Pringle 12, Thompson 9, Slaughter 6, Mariano 3, Devance 3, Caguioa 2.
Quarterscores: 20-28, 44-56, 89-81, 111-103.