Phoenix Super LPG orchestrated a massive comeback from 17 points down to stun Magnolia 91-84 and snap a two-game losing skid in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center.
After an ice-cold performance in the first three quarters that saw them make just 3-of-30 shots, the Fuel Masters suddenly caught fire from downtown in the final 12 minutes to carve out a gutsy win that helped them improve their record to 3-2 in the standings.
"We just didn't want to give up," an emotional coach Topex Robinson said after the win. "It's just the beauty of this basketball game."
Down 13 with 8:06 left, Phoenix unleashed a back-breaking 22-0 run to completely turn the game around and avoid falling into a third straight loss after winning its first two contests in the All-Filipino Cup.
Wright first tied it at 80-all at the 3:37 mark after nailing a jumper off an offensive rebound, then three consecutive triples from RJ Jazul, Justin Chua and JC Intal finally put the Fuel Masters on top with a nine-point lead with 1:39 to go in the game.
Mark Barroca kept Magnolia in it with two free throws and a steal leading to a Rome dela Rosa bucket to cut it to five, but the Hotshots couldn't produce anything down the line after that. RR Garcia scored on an easy layup with 33 seconds left to seal the score line.
Wright led the Fuel Masters with 23 points to go with seven boards and four dimes, while Jason Perkins added a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double. Chua added 14 before fouling out, while Garcia finished with 12.
Those nine three-point attempts in the final 12 minutes accounted for half of Phoenix's offense during that span. The team made 66.7 percent (12-for-18) of its shots there.
Robinson lauded his wards' effort in their third game in five nights. Phoenix lost to league-leaders TNT and Barangay Ginebra before facing Magnolia, last year's top defensive team.
"We're not here to beat the competition. It's just for us to keep growing, keep on improving on our craft. Again, we want to be the best version of ourselves," said Robinson. "I just told them whatever the result is, we don't want to go back to this thinking of what we should have done. Instead of thinking about our past and regrets, we just wanted to focus on the now. We were just in the moment. Everybody was just in the moment. Guys were just hitting big shots after big shots."
Magnolia started the third quarter with a 12-2 to erect a 51-36 lead in the first three minutes. It continued to punish a slacking Phoenix defense and still led by 11 entering the fourth by making 10-for-16 shots after the break and making all of its four threes.
The offense, however, sputtered in the final 12 minutes and shot just 22.7 percent (5-for-22) after the Hotshots hit a healthy 46.4 of their shots in the first three quarters.
Chris Banchero led the Hotshots with 20 in the loss, Ian Sangalang added 15, while Rafi Reavis tallied 12 and 10 boards in a start. Magnolia slid to its third consecutive loss and now holds a 1-4 card.
Phoenix (91) -- Wright 23, Perkins 20, Chua 14, Garcia 12, Intal 8, Jazul 7, Napoles 4, Marcelo 2, Heruela 1, Gamboa 0, Rios 0.
Magnolia (84) -- Banchero 20, Sangalang 15, Reavis 12, Lee 10, Barroca 10, Dela Rosa 7, Melton 3, Jalalon 3, Corpuz 2, Calisaan 2, Pascual 0, Abundo 0.
Quarters: 22-16, 34-39, 60-71, 94-81.
After Magnolia's last field goal off a Sangalang jumper with 8:06 remaining, the team endured almost seven minutes without a field goal before that Dela Rosa basket.
Jazul and Chua, who hit back-to-back corner threes to give Phoenix the lead after Wright's jumper late in the fourth, were both a plus-19 in the game.
Magnolia vs. Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 6:45 p.m.
Phoenix vs. NLEX on Monday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m.