By Adrian Stewart Co
Matthew Wright drained a go-ahead triple as Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters escaped with an 89-88 victory over Magnolia Hotshots in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Saturday at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Pampanga.
Trailing 86-88 following a two-pointer by Hotshots’ Ian Sangalang, Wright beat the shot clock with a running three-pointer to surge the Fuel Masters ahead, 89-88, with 9.3 seconds left.
Phoenix’s defense then forced Magnolia’s Paul Lee to have a tough fall away basket on the other end to secure the seat in the best-of-five semifinals against TNT Tropang Giga.
Wright finished the match with 32 points, nine assists and five rebounds, while Jason Perkins chipped in 16 points and six rebounds for the No. 2 seed Fuel Masters.
In the first game, Roger Pogoy heated up on offense in the second half as the Tropang Giga cruised to a 104-83 victory over the Alaska Aces in their own quarterfinals series.
Down 40-51 late in the second period, the Tropang Giga leaned on free throws by Pogoy, a layup by Bacolodnon Kib Montalbo and a triple by Simon Enciso to tie the count at 51-all.
Pogoy and Rosario then connived on offense to start the third period as TNT surged to a 70-56 advantage. It grew further to 84-64 late in the period with Pogoy joining forces with Jayson Castro.
The Aces threatened to within 72-88 early in the fourth but the Tropang Giga had a quick response on a two-pointer and a triple by Bobby Ray Parks Jr. for its biggest lead of 101-75 on a basket by Jeth Troy Rosario.
Pogoy finished the match with 34 points, including six triples, while Parks and Rosario added 20 and 10 markers, respectively, for Tropang Giga. Jeron Teng had 13 points for the Aces.
PHOENIX 89 – Wright 32, Perkins 16, Jazul 9, Abueva 6, Chua 5, Heruela 5, Rios 5, Intal 3, Mallari 3, Reyes 3, Garcia 2, Marcelo 0.
MAGNOLIA 88 – Lee 17, Barroca 15, Sangalang 15, Dela Rosa 11, Banchero 9, Melton 9, Jalalon 8, Reavis 4, Corpuz 0, Dionisio 0.
Quarterscores: 24-21, 37-39, 66-63, 89-88./ASC, WDJ