Matthew Wright sizzled with 36 points and the Phoenix Super LPG clobbered Meralco, 116-98, on Monday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles, Pampanga.
The Fuel Masters started cold and showed some signs of rusts following a seven-month inactivity. But they slowly picked up their game as the match progressed with Wright, Jason Perkins and Justine Chua leading the way.
Wright was at his deadliest in the third quarter, going for 14 points on 4 of 5 shooting including 3 for 3 from the behind the arc as Phoenix Super LPG outscored Meralco, 39-22, to practically lock the victory.
The Fuel Masters led, 92-63, after three quarters.
“I’m excited that we’re back paying in this bubble. I really want to give coach Topex (Robinson) his first career win as a head coach. I told him before the game I won’t let him down,” Wright said after the game
“One win doesn’t make you a bubble champion. We just want to be our own version every game,” said Phoenix coach Topex Robinson.
Perkins and Chua scored 17 apiece and RR Garcia added 14 for the Fuel Masters, who outplayed their foes with good ball movement, strong rebounding and tough defense.
It was a tough loss for the Bolts, who kept the game close early in the game but lost momentum with repeated turnovers and poor shot selection.
Reynel Hugnatan turned in 16 points, Chris Newsome had 12 and Bong Quinto and Allein Maliksi 11 apiece for the Bolts, who got only seven points from Baser Amer.
The Fuel Master dictated the pace in the first half behind the combined efforts of Wright, Perkins and Chua who combined for 32 points after two quarters.
Phoenix Super LPG a five-point lead with under four minute left in the second quarter before Perkins hit a 3-point shot, RJ Jazul and Wright hit two free throws each and JC Intal scored underneath as the Fuel Masters closed the period with a 9-0 run for a comfortable 53-41 advantage at halftime. (PBA Media Bureau)
(All photos courtesy from PBA Media Bureau)