Matthew Wright capped his game-long brilliance by knocking down an amazing game-winning triple in the left corner to lift Phoenix to a thrilling 120-117 escape win over Blackwater in overtime and exit its campaign the right way in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
With the game tied at 117-all, the Fuel Masters went straight to the red-hot Wright in the final possession and the prolific gunner did not disappoint, calmly sinking the winning trey at the buzzer over two defenders to allow Phoenix to end its season on a positive note.
Phoenix was ahead 117-114 in the final minute, but Roi Sumang’s three-point play with 3.7 ticks left tied it at 117.
However, Wright, who was also responsible for sending the game to overtime in the first place, was determined to lift the Fuel Masters.
He finished with 28 points, including five crucial triples down the stretch, with six rebounds and four assists, while Alonzo Gee had a team-high 34 markers and 12 boards as the duo powered Phoenix.
With both teams already eliminated and tied at the cellar entering the contest, the Fuel Masters and the Elite just wanted a respectful end to their dismal run in the conference.
It was Phoenix who wanted the feel good win more, despite the non-bearing circumstances.
The Fuel Masters ended its campaign at 3-8 for 11th place, while the Elite, as a result of the loss, finished dead last at 2-9.
Down 107-99 in the final minute of regulation, the Fuel Masters uncorked a torrid 10-2 run anchored by three straight triples by Wright to even the count at 109-all with two seconds remaining in the fourth.
Carl Bryan Cruz had the chance to win it for Blackwater in regulation but his jumper went astray, calling the need for an extension.
A torrid third-quarter surge turned the tides in Blackwater’s corner as it unleashed a game-turning 19-5 run midway the period to open up a double-digit lead, 74-61.
It seemed like the Elite was poised to sail through the rest of the way until the Fuel Masters fought their way back in the last 40 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Marqus Blakely had a gallant final performance for Blackwater with a game-high 37 points, 17 rebounds and six assists.