SMART Clark Giga City. - Matthew Wright's sprained ankle continues to bother him.
Yet Wright made TNT hurt more by leading Phoenix Super LPG past the Tropang Giga via a 92-89 decision Sunday for the Fuel Masters' second straight win in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Gym in Angeles City.
The Fil-Canadian gunner scored a game-high 25 points anchored on five triples, including a dagger of a turnaround shot that gave Phoenix a 92-89 lead in the last 23 seconds that stood when Roger Pogoy and Jayson Castro missed their respective tries at an equalizer.
After following up their 110-103 victory in Game 2 last Friday the Fuel Masters can close out the best-of-five series with another win on Wednesday and by that time Wright's sprain suffered early in a 92-95 Game 1 loss should be much better.
"I'm playing through the pain, playing with limited mobility," admitted Wright. "Four days after spraining my ankle it's still really painful, it's throbbing right now. I'm glad we have two days rest before the next game."
Winning coach Topex Robinson continues to defy the odds in this its first-ever semifinals stint.
"Again, you'll never know when you'll get this chance again so no matter what the game is, it's always about again just trying to enjoy it," said Robinson. "We already overachieved coming to this series."
Total team effort again did the trick for Phoenix in a game it led by 71-61 before holding off TNT's bids to turn the game around.
Calvin Abueva was his usual do-it-all self with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists while Jason Perkins added 11 points which he capped with a follow-up that made it a 90-87 count.
RJ Jazul's 11 points, combined with Wright's output, led to Phoenix taking a 47-32 advantage in bench points.
Rayray Parks again led TNT with 19 points on top of 13 rebounds and six dimes while Simon Enciso added 16 markers. After averaging just 7.5 points in the first two games Troy Rosario finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. (NC)
PHOENIX 92 - Wright 25, Abueva 24, Jazul 11, Perkins 11, Chua 8, Intal 5, Napoles 3, Rios 3, Mallari 2, Garcia 0, Marcelo 0, Heruela 0, Gamboa 0.
TNT 89 - Parks 19, Enciso 16, Rosario 14 , Castro 12, Pogoy 8, Reyes 5, Erram 6, Montalbo 6, Washington 3, Carey 0.
Quarters: 22-24; 49-47; 73-69; 92-89.