Matthew Wright bails out Phoenix over slumping TNT

Published February 13, 2022, 6:34 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

Matthew Wright scored an easy layup off a steal in the final second as Phoenix Super LPG escaped with a 93-92 win over TNT in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Wright got more than a stop when he stole the ball from Jayson Castro before he was left alone to convert the go-ahead basket with 1.3 ticks left as the Fuel Masters reclaimed the lead after the Tropang Giga went up by nine midway in the fourth.

Phoenix secured the stunning victory when Jason Perkins blocked Troy Rosario’s close attempt off a lob to go 4-2 in the season-ending conference.

“Matt played well on that last play, defensively, anticipated that play, read the opportunity. And again, just went all the way and made them pay for their turnover,” coach Topex Robinson said of Wright, who finished with 27 points, four rebounds, 10 assists and three steals.

It was a huge win for Phoenix, which came into the contest reeling from the loss of guard Chris Banchero and the arrival of replacement import Dominique Sutton.

Banchero left Phoenix earlier this month to sign a free agent deal with Meralco while Sutton only arrived a few days to take the place of Paul Harris, who suffered a hamstring injury last Christmas.

Sutton had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three steals to begin his third PBA tour of duty, Perkins posted 12 points and seven rebounds while RJ Jazul came off the bench to score 16.

TNT fell to 2-4 after a second straight loss while playing sans injured players RR Pogoy (calf) and Poy Erram (back).

The heartbreaking defeat put to waste a fiery fourth quarter showing by rookie Mikey Williams, who dropped 22 points.

Williams was 3-of-10 from the field through three quarters before hitting 13 in the fourth, including a tough turnaround shot from the baseline that gave the Tropang Giga an 85-76 lead with over six minutes left.

His layup entering the two-minute mark of the final canto put TNT ahead 92-89, but missed its final five shots while failing to capitalize on two missed freebies by Sutton which kept Phoenix alive.

Wright found Perklns for a layup off a pick-and-roll with 27 seconds before picking Castro’s pocket that led to the unbelievable ending.

The scores:

PHOENIX 93 — Wright 27, Jazul 16, Sutton 13, Perkins 12, Manganti 10, Pascual 4, Chua 3, Garcia 2, Melecio 2, Rios 2, Robles 2, Demusis 0, Camacho 0.

TNT 92 — M. Williams 22, Banal 18, Castro 11, Rosario 11, Fuller 11, Montalbo 9, K. Williams 6, Alejandro 4, Khobuntin 0, Heruela 0, Marcelo 0.

Quarters: 21-15, 44-41, 72-70, 93-92.

 
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