Ray Parks Jr. erupted in the fourth quarter as TNT spoiled Phoenix Super LPG’s comeback with a 102-101 victory Wednesday night, sending their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series to a do-or-die Game 5 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Parks hit 17 of his 36 points during the final period as the Tropang Giga stayed alive after seeing their biggest lead of 17 reduced to a single point at the end of the third quarter behind the explosive shooting of Fuel Masters star Matthew Wright.
But Wright ran out of gas in the fourth as Phoenix fell short in its first crack of advancing to the finals for the first time in franchise history.
TNT, on the other hand, revived its quest for an 18th appearance in the PBA’s biggest stage after forcing a decider set Friday afternoon inside the Smart Clark Giga City bubble.
“We’re fighting for our lives here,” said Parks, who shot 10-of-16 from the field while also producing six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
It was a fitting performance for Parks on the day before the birth anniversary of his late father, seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks.
TNT coach Bong Ravena and active consultant Mark Dickel decided to insert Jayson Castro into the starting lineup and the Tropang Giga captain responded by posting 21 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Roger Pogoy had 18 points and Simon Enciso, a quiet contributor since the series began, added 14.
The Tropang Giga led 57-40 in the third but the Fuel Masters came roaring back behind Wright, who nailed 18 of his 34 points in the quarter to cut the deficit to 69-68 going into the fourth.
But TNT rained down five of its 18 threes in the fourth to restore order even as it forced Wright to go scoreless until the final seconds when his two treys came when the outcome was virtually decided.
Parks, at one point, scored 10 in a row highlighted by a stepback jumper off rival Calvin Abueva to make it 98-92 for the Tropang Giga, more than a minute to go.
Jason Perkins had 19 points, Abueva produced 17 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals before fouling out and RJ Jazul and Justin Chua added 11 and 10 points.
TNT 102 — Parks 36, Castro 21, Pogoy 18, Enciso 14, Washington 6, Erram 4, Montalbo 3, Rosario 0, De Leon 0, Semerad 0, Reyes 0.
PHOENIX 101 — Wright 34, Perkins 19, Abueva 17, Jazul 11, Chua 10, Rios 4, Garcia 4, Heruela 2, Napoles 0, Reyes 0, Intal 0, Mallari 0.
Quarters: 21-12, 48-38, 69-68, 102-101.