MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Import Jameel McKay saved the day as the Phoenix Fuel Masters took down Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 94-91, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Saturday, April 1 at the University of Southeastern Philippines Gym in Davao del Sur.
Against 3 Ginebra defenders, McKay sank the go-ahead two-pointer from deep underneath the basket with 18.6 seconds left to put the Fuel Masters on top for good, 92-91.
Rookie Matthew Wright then sealed the win with two cold-blooded free throws with 7.6 ticks remaining on the clock, as Ginebra scrambled in a fruitless final possession.
Wright had a game-high 27 points with 6 rebounds and 3 assists while McKay added 15 markers and a whopping 28 boards plus 3 steals.
Cyrus Baguio added 13 points off the bench as the Fuel Masters controlled much of the ballgame before the Gin Kings rallied in the fourth quarter.
After a number of silly misses scattered throughout the contest, Ginebra added another costly one at the end when Joe Devance and LA Tenorio miscommunicated on a pass that resulted to a turnover with 9.4 seconds to go – which paved the way for Wright's last two free throws.
Skipper Devance, however, paced Ginebra with 15 points off the bench. Japeth Aguilar likewise scored 15 and tracked down 7 rebounds.
Tenorio produced 13 markers, 4 boards, and 4 assists, as import Justin Brownlee settled for 12 points and 4 rebounds in under 30 minutes of play.
Brownlee, the hero of Ginebra's 2016 Governors' Cup title run, battled cramps throughout and was not fielded in the endgame.
Phoenix leveled its record at 2-2 while Ginebra, last conference's finalist, suffered its first loss in its first outing this conference.
Phoenix (94): Wright 27, McKay 15, Baguio 13, Jazul 9, Torres 7, Kramer 6, Borboran 5, Alolino 4, Intal 4, Eriobu 2, Miranda 0, J. Wilson 0, Viernes 0.
Ginebra (91): Aguilar 15, Devance 15, Tenorio 13, Brownlee 12, Cruz 10, Ellis 9, Caguioa 8, Thompson 5, Marcelo 2, Taha 1, Ferrer 1, Mariano 0.
Quarter scores: 26-24, 49-46, 70-71, 94-91