Mr. Wright fuels Phoenix | Inquirer Sports

Mr. Wright fuels Phoenix

Leading rookie scorer, import McKay lead Fuel Masters past debuting Gin Kings
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:56 AM April 02, 2017



DAVAO—Holding it together when it truly mattered, Phoenix Petroleum on Saturday night snapped a two-game losing streak and spoiled crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup debut before a very appreciative crowd at University of Southeastern Philippines gym here.

Import Jameel McKay hit an off-balanced follow-up with the left hand and rookie Matthew Wright drained two free throws in the last 7.6 seconds as the Fuel Masters scored a 94-91 win aided in large part by a critical blunder by the Gin Kings that was sandwiched by those four points.


That McKay putback shoved Phoenix ahead with 18.6 seconds remaining, before Joe Devance flicked a pass that was too low for the 5-foot-9 LA Tenorio to field, resulting in an error that forced Ginebra to foul Wright on the other end.


Ginebra, which finished second to San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup, was without import Justin Brownlee for majority of the fourth period because of an undisclosed injury.

Wright, who leads all rookies in scoring, went on to finish with 27 points after sinking those free throws nonchalantly, while McKay wound up with 15 points and 27 big boards in the Petron Saturday Special game.

Brownlee, who hit the championship-winning triple over Allen Durham of Meralco in the Governors’ Cup last season, played less than 30 minutes and had just 12 points and four rebounds.

The Kings were in the game after getting a lot of their locals in the groove, with four of them, led by Devance and Japeth Aguilar, scoring in twin digits.

But Devance also took a lot of time in setting up the potential game-tying play after Wright made those free throws, as the clock died with the ball in Kevin Ferrer’s hands.

Meanwhile, the Beermen will be put in the fire right in their debut on Sunday when they clash with unbeaten league-leader Meralco as action returns to Smart Araneta Coliseum.


Tip off is at 6:45 p.m. with San Miguel to parade Charles Rhodes against the behemoth Alex Stepheson even as Alaska also puts its unblemished slate on the line versus defending champion Rain or Shine in the 4:30 p.m. contest.

Meralco is off to a 4-0 start because of Stepheson, the Bolts’ answer to all their woes in the middle, and the 6-foot-9 man-mountain will again be their man main as Norman Black’s boys face the best local crew in the tournament.

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June Mar Fajardo, the reigning three-time MVP, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter will be there to provide support for Rhodes.

TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Meralco, Phoenix, Saturday

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