Just when the game looked headed for overtime, RR Garcia came in the right place at the right time to save a thriller of a win for Phoenix Pulse over Rain or Shine at the Cuneta Astrodome Wednesday night.
And do-it-all import Eugene Phelps had a big hand on it.
Drawing three defenders in the game's final play in the last 1.8 seconds, Phelps found an opening to issue a perfect dish to Garcia who beat the buzzer with an uncontested shot underneath the basket as Fuel Masters escaped past the Elasto Painters, 86-84, for some relief in their struggling start in the PBA Governors Cup.
The Fuel Masters took control most of the way only to find the E-Painters catching up at 84-all at endgame on a tough shot by ROS rookie Jvee Mocon.
But there's no denying the Fuel Masters the win this time.
They pounced on the E-Painters' defensive breakdown in the game's final sequence, with Garcia nailing the winning basket as the Fuel Masters improved to 2-4 while dealing their victim a fourth loss against a lone win.
Plucked from the free-agent pool, Garcia helped Phoenix rise from a stupor.
The former FEU stalwart started with RJ Jazul at the backcourt, and finished with 14 markers, three assists, two rebounds and one block in 31:42 minutes of action.
His winning shot made up for two missed charities with 17.2 ticks left that allowed the E-Painters to draw level at 84-all.
Phelps lost his scoring duel with ROS counterpart Kayel Locke, but the Phoenix import nonetheless proved of bigger value with his all-around numbers spiked by his winning feed.
He flirted with a triple-double with 19 markers, 20 rebounds and seven assists as against Locke's 29 points and 10 boards.
The E-Painters were admirable with their fighting stand even with a crippled lineup that become more depleted on the early ejection of Beau Belga on a flagrant foul.
After erasing a big deficit, the E-Painters had their chances to steal the game at endgame.
But the Fuel Masters dodged bullets from left and right. (SB)