PBA: Phoenix beats Alaska, halts slide to bolster playoff bid | Inquirer Sports
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PBA: Phoenix beats Alaska, halts slide to bolster playoff bid

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:52 PM March 03, 2022
Phoenix Fuel Masters' Matthew Wright.

Phoenix Fuel Masters’ Matthew Wright. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix snapped its three-game skid and handed Alaska its second loss in three outings, 104-99, in the 2021PBA Governors’ Cup Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Fuel Masters improved to a 5-5 record to get to the seventh seed while the Aces dropped to 6-4 at the fourth spot.

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Matthew Wright and Du’vaughn Maxwell connected on a crucial pick-and-roll play with the new import muscling his way for the dagger layup that put the Phoenix up 103-99 with 20.5 seconds to play.

Alaska was still breathing down the Fuel Masters’ necks in the final three minutes and trailed by just one possession, 101-99, after Yousef Taha received a crisp inside pass from Olu Ashaolu for the open layup with 43.6 seconds left.

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“We know how important this game is for us and Alaska’s on a run,” said Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson. “We respect the team so much and we have to make sure we have to play all out.”

“We just stuck together. If we’re going to play offense against this team, it’s going to be hard. Our focus was to make stops.”

Matthew Wright led Phoenix with a game-high 26 points along with seven rebounds and 11 assists while Jason Perkins added 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Maxwell had a debut to remember for the Fuel Masters with 21 points, 21 rebounds, and two blocks while RJ Jazul also pitched in 21 points.

Ashaolu had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists for the Aces.

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TAGS: 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, Alaska Aces, Du’Vaughn Maxwell, Phoenix Fuel Masters
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