MANILA, Philippines – Matthew Wright carried the scoring cudgels late to propel Phoenix to a 97-87 victory over NorthPort in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, June 26.
Wright scored half of his 28 points in the final frame and hit timely buckets as the Fuel Masters returned to the winning track at 3-4 and dealt the Batang Pier just their second loss in 9 outings.
Also finishing with 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, Wright put Phoenix up 92-87 with a pair of free throws before dashing any hopes of a NorthPort comeback by drilling in a three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining.
Import Richard Howell delivered 18 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 steals, RJ Jazul had 17 points and 6 rebounds, while Jason Perkins provided spark off the bench in the win with 12 points and 4 rebounds.
Alex Mallari made his presence felt for the Fuel Masters with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals – highlighting his performance with a steal off an inbound and a dish to Wright for a triple that gave their side an 81-66 lead.
The Batang Pier, though, did not crumble as they slowly chiseled away at their deficit and narrowed the gap to 81-84 with 3 straight triples from Sean Anthony, Robert Bolick and Kevin Ferrer.
But Mallari and Perkins hit back-to-back buckets to restore order for Phoenix before Wright put the finishing touches.
Mo Tautuaa paced NorthPort, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped, with 19 points and 6 rebounds, Ferrer had 18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, while Anthony chipped in 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.
Prince Ibeh added 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks, while Bolick fired 11 points in the losing effort.
Phoenix 97 – Wright 28, Howell 18, Jazul 17, Pwrkins 12, Mallari 11, Chua 6, Intal 3, Napoles 2, Kramer 0, Marcelo 0, Wilson 0, Dennison 0.
NorthPort 87 – Tautuaa 19, Ferrer 18, Anthony 16, Ibeh 12, Bolick 11, Taha 6, Lanete 3, Cruz 2, Mercado 0, Arana 0.
Quarters: 19-28, 39-43, 64-51, 97-87.
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