Matthew Wright rescues Phoenix past Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines—Matthew Wright played zero to hero as he willed Phoenix to a come-from-behind 78-77 win over Rain or Shine in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Thursday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Shooting blanks the whole game, Wright made his only shot in 15 attempts converting on a turnaround jumper to give the Fuel Masters a 78-76 lead with 2.6 seconds to play.
Beau Belga had a chance to take the game into overtime after drawing a foul on Wright but he botched his second free throw with the ball falling to Jake Pascual as time expired.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) September 2, 2021
“The guys just stuck together until that final buzzer. Matthew will win games for us, he will lose games for us,” said Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson. “No matter what he will always take a shot.”
“I don’t have to tell Matt to take a shot because no matter what he will always make the shot, I mean he’s a winner. He wants to win and he’ll find ways to win.”
Wright’s winner, however, wouldn’t have been possible if not for the Fuel Masters’ frantic pace in the final six minutes of the game.
Despite being down 74-59 late, Phoenix found the groove and went on a blistering 17-0 run that RR Garcia capped off for the 76-74 lead.
Gabe Norwood managed to stop the bleeding with a jumper with half a minute remaining but it was Wright’s game to win.
Jason Perkins finished with an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead Phoenix while Garcia also had 18 points of his own.
Wright finished with just four points but had 12 rebounds and five assists as the Fuel Masters improved to 2-4.
Javee Mocon and Belga had 17 points apiece for the Elasto Painters who dropped to 4-3.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.