Phoenix Super LPG erased a 13-point fourth quarter deficit behind a big run to stun Magnolia, 91-84, and snap a two-game skid Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
On the brink of another defeat, the Fuel Masters refused to give up and crawled back from an 80-67 margin with over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter by scoring 22 unanswered points to take the lead and eventually claim a massive win over the Hotshots.
Matthew Wright fired 23 points with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals while Jason Perkins added 20 points and 12 boards as Phoenix improved to 3-2 after ending a rough stretch of three games in five nights on a winning note.
Magnolia suffered its third straight loss after another meltdown, dropping to 1-4. The Hotshots blew a five-point lead in Tuesday’s 109-104 overtime loss to the Meralco Bolts.
Interim coach Topex Robinson credited the resiliency of his boys to erase the deficit that looked unreachable before turning emotional over the difficulty of still not having Calvin Abueva back.
Abueva has yet to see his indefinite suspension being lifted by the PBA despite meeting conditions set by the league and the Games and Amusements Board despite being allowed to be with the team inside the bubble.
“It’s really hard, especially at these times. But winning it for Calvin is really big for us,” said Robinson while fighting back tears.
Wright scored eight during that run, including back-to-back hits that tied the contest at 80-all with 3:30 left in the fourth.
Phoenix extended the onslaught as RJ Jazul, Justin Chua and JC Intal came through with three-pointers that put them up for good at 89-80, 1:39 remaining.
Magnolia tried to make a quick rally on two Mark Barroca free throws and a basket by Rome dela Cruz but RR Garcia scored an uncontested layup to seal Phoenix’s victory.
The stinging setback put to naught Chris Banchero’s 20-point output, with 12 coming in the first half that gave Magnolia a 39-34 halftime lead.
The Hotshots led by a high of 17 in the third and were ahead 80-69 on Ian Sangalang’s basket before everything went downhill.
PHOENIX 91 — Wright 23, Perkins 20, Chua 14, Garcia 12, Intal 8, Jazul 7, Napoles 4, Marcelo 2, Heruela 1, Rios 0, Gamboa 0.
MAGNOLIA 84 — Banchero 20, Sangalang 15, Reavis 12, Barroca 10, Lee 10, Dela Rosa 7, Melton 3, Jalalon 3, Corpuz 2, Calisaan 2, Pascual 0, Abundo 0.
Quarters: 16-22, 34-39, 60-71, 91-84.