Phoenix Super LPG made a big splash in the newly-resumed competition of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup with a rip-roaring, 116-98, demolition of the Meralco Bolts at the Angeles University Foundation gym, yesterday, Monday, October 12.
The Super LPG rode the hot hands of an inspired Matthew Wright – who finished with 36 points from 4 triples – to pull ahead early and post the convincing victory.
Wright said he was motivated by memory of his basketball idol Kobe Bryant who passed away earlier this year.
He added that before the game started he talked to new Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson. He told the Phoenix mentor that he would not let him lose his first game as Phoenix head coach.
Phoenix won the game from three-point distance as they converted 17 triples out of 39 attempts for 43% shooting percentage. In sharp contrast, Meralco converted just 6 of 24 attempts for a poor 25% shooting percentage.
The lone bright spot for the Bolts was veteran Reynel Hugnatan who finished with 16 points despite playing just 16 minutes.
Wright drilled two free throws with 5:14 left in the game as Phoenix posted a 102-81 advantage. By that time, he already had 34 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Wright didn’t let up. With 4:09 left to play he stole the ball and converted a fastbreak layup to hike his production to 36 points and pegged the count at 107-85 for Phoenix.
Robinson finally pulled out Wright with 1:22 to go and the game already well in hand.
The Bolts missed a big piece with the absence of center Raymond Almazan.
Phoenix is waiting on Calvin Abueva who may finally rejoin the team after sitting out more than a year after getting suspended.
Hints of the rout started as early as the second period. JC Intal converted fastbreak layup to cap a 9-0 Phoenix run which turned a slim, 44-41, three-point Phoenix advantage to a fat 53-41 lead at halftime.
In the third, the Bolts switched to a zone defense out of timeout and RR Garcia immediately made them pay for it. He drilled a three-pointer as Phoenix hiked its lead to 24 points, 82-58, with 2:35 to go in the third.
Everything Phoenix threw from three-point somehow scored. Big man Dave Marcelo, a known non-shooter, drilled a triple with three seconds to go in the period to push Phoenix to a 29-points, 92-63, advantage after three quarters.
Phoenix Super LPG 116 – Matthew Wright 36, Jason Perkins 17, Justin Chua 17, RR Garcia 14, JC Intal 7, Jorey Napoles 6, RJ Jazul 5, Jensen Rios 4, Dave Marcelo 4, JayR Reyes 3, Brian Heruela 3,
Meralco Bolts 98 – Reynel Hugnatan 16, Chris Newsome 12, Allein Maliksi 11, Bong Quinto 11, Nico Salva 10, Cliff Hodge 9, Raymar Jose 8, Baser Amer 7, Aaron Black 6, Nard Pinto 4, Brian Faundo 2, Anjo Caram 2, Trevis Jackson 0.
Quarter scores: 25-21; 53-41; 92-63; 116-98.
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