Matthew Wright, James White and skipper Willie Wilson stood at the forefront of a fierce fightback that natted the Fuel Masters an 89-87 win over debuting Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jason Perkins, RJ Jazul and Jeff Chan did their part in Phoenix’s charge from as much as a 16-point third quarter deficit but it was Wright who shone the brightest by booming in a three-pointer that proved to be the game-winner.
Wright’s step back triple over Rafi Reavis pushed the Fuel Masters ahead 88-87, before the Hotshots were slapped a technical for a timeout which Magnolia did not have, having called its last with still 22.8 ticks left.
Coach Chito Victolero vehemently denied calling one, although he visibly pointed at the table officials following Wright’s basket, usually indicating a timeout.
Notwithstanding the momentary furor caused by the mix-up, Wright calmly sank the freebie and Phoenix’s second win in three games became official when PJ Simon came up way short in the game’s last triple try.
It marked the end of Phoenix’s six-game losing streak to Magnolia dating back to last season and only the Dennis Uy-owned franchise’s second victory in eight games against Magnolia.