The Phoenix Fuel Masters got a big shot from Matthew Wright to keep them ahead at the end of the game. Phoenix survived a fourth-quarter rally from Barangay Ginebra to win their first game of the conference. Phoenix is at 1-2 for the conference while Ginebra is at 1-1.
Early in the game, it seemed like Phoenix would cruise to the win. They erupted for 41 points in the first quarter, taking a 17-point lead after the first period. The Fuel Masters built a 23-point lead and were ahead safely by 15 heading into the final period. Ginebra made a furious rally in the final period, cutting the lead down to single digits heading to the final minute and going on a 9-0 blast to tie the game with 12 seconds left.
Needing a big basket to avoid a meltdown, the Fuel Masters went to Wright in the end game. After bringing the ball down to the attack side, RJ Jazul dumped the ball inside to Wright. Stanley Pringle gambled for the steal, giving Wright an open baseline look that he drilled with five seconds left. Ginebra had one last chance to steal the win but Justin Brownlee missed his triple at the buzzer, allowing Phoenix to get their first win.
Wright led Phoenix with 28 points on 52% shooting. He nailed six triples at a 50% clip to boost his scoring total. Eugene Phelps added 27 points and 23 rebounds. Brownlee had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in the loss.
In the other game of the day, the TNT KaTropa stayed perfect with a big 103-91 win over the Shine Elasto Painters. TNT rises up to 2-0 while Rain or Shine drops to 1-2.
KJ McDaniels once again put up incredible numbers. He scored 37 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked five shots to lead TNT. Troy Rosario added 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench while Jayson Castro scored 15 and dished out seven dimes. Joel Wright had 20 points for Rain or Shine.
After a tight first half, the KaTropa pulled away from the Elasto Painters in the third period. McDaniels scored 12 points in the third period to power the TNT attack. He was nearly unstoppable, getting to the paint at will for layups and dunks. If he didn’t get the finish, McDaniels ended up trooping to the line after Rain or Shine was forced to foul. The KaTropa built a 12-point lead after a highlight dunk by McDaniels midway through the period.
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters tried to get back ahead, cutting the deficit down to just four points. But McDaniels teamed up with Rosario and RR Pogoy to bring the lead back up to double-digits, securing the win.