PBA Philippine Cup

Wright tows Phoenix to PH Cup semis as Magnolia falls

Delfin Dioquino
Wright tows Phoenix to PH Cup semis as Magnolia falls

CLUTCH. Matthew Wright puts Phoenix on his back against Magnolia.

Photo from PBA Images

With the shot clock winding down and his team trailing, Matthew Wright hits a one-legged three-pointer as Phoenix sends Magnolia packing out of the PBA bubble

In the right place at the right time.

Matthew Wright sank the game-winner to propel Phoenix to the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup following an 89-88 squeaker against Magnolia at Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga on Saturday, November 14.

With the shot clock winding down and his side trailing 86-88, Wright hit a one-legged three-pointer with 9.8 seconds left as the twice-to-beat Fuel Masters sent the Hotshots packing out of the PBA bubble.

It looked like Wright was not aware of time running out but he gracefully pulled himself together and crossed past Mark Barroca for the go-ahead bucket, finishing with 32 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds.

Magnolia had ample time to steal the win and force a rubber match but Paul Lee muffed his fadeaway jumper, with Calvin Abueva securing the rebound for Phoenix.

Abueva, who let out a roar after the final buzzer, chalked up 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals as the Fuel Masters advanced to the All-Filipino semifinals for the second straight year.

“We’re just so blessed to be here, to grind it out with one of the best teams, a well-coached team,” said Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson.

Jason Perkins delivered 16 points and 6 rebounds, knocking down timely buckets down the stretch for the Fuel Masters when the Hotshots had Wright on their clamps.

RJ Jazul added 9 points – including a three-pointer that knotted the score at 82-82 with 5 minutes left – on top of 3 assists and 2 steals as he also came up big for Phoenix, which will face TNT in the semifinals.

Lee delivered 17 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds for Magnolia, while Ian Sangalang chimed in 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Sangalang scored a short stab for an 88-86 lead but the Hotshots failed to protect their upper hand as they suffered an early playoff exit after reaching the finals in the previous two editions of the Philippine Cup.

The Scores

Phoenix 89 – Wright 32, Perkins 16, Jazul 9, Abueva 6, Chua 5, Heruela 5, Rios 5, Intal 3, Reyes 3, Mallari 3, Garcia 2, Marcelo 0.

Magnolia 88 – Lee 17, Sangalang 15, Barroca 15, Dela Rosa 11, Banchero 9, Melton 9, Jalalon 8, Reavis 4, Dionisio 0, Corpuz 0.

Quarters: 24-21, 37-39, 66-63, 89-88.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.