Phoenix bounces back from bitter losses, edges Meralco

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—Phoenix came alive in the fourth quarter and pipped Meralco, 94-90, in the PBA's first game at the FilOil Flying V Centre for the 2017 season on Wednesday night.

The Fuel Masters bounced back from two consecutive blowout losses in come-from-behind fashion, coming back from 12 points down in the third and finishing it off at the death.

Meralco led, 71-59, late in the third quarter, but Phoenix fought back and took the upper hand, 76-75, early in the fourth.

Jonathan Grey scored four straight points to put the Bolts back up, 79-76, but Matt Wright answered with a three to force the 79-all deadlock at the halfway point of the quarter, setting up a wild finish that boiled down to the long range bombs.

After a Reynel Hugnatan trey that put Meralco up, 87-85, Wright scored on his own long tom and Phoenix was back in the lead, 88-87.

Grey scored on a corner three of his own to give the Bolts the lead again, 90-88, but Cyrus Baguio answered with his own three-point shot to reclaim the edge for the Fuel Masters, 91-90.

Meralco failed to connect another basket, and Wright made two free throws to stretch the lead to three, 93-90.

Grey missed a potential equalizing trey, and Wright sealed the win with a split from the line.

Wright finished with 22 points, 14 in the payoff period, for Phoenix, which moved back to .500 at 3-3.

Baguio added a double-double of 11 points and 10 assists with one block.

Grey had a game-high 24 markers for Meralco in a game where Chris Newsome was limited to only two markers.

Box Scores:

Phoenix 94-Wright 22, Borboran 17, Baguio 11, Alolino 11, Enciso 7, J.Wilson 7, Torres 6, Caperal 5, Hayes 4, Lanete 4, Javillonar 0, Miranda 0

Meralco 90-Grey 24, Hugatan 15, Hodge 12, Daquioag 11, Yeo 9, Amer 7, Nabong 4, Newsome 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Caram 2, Chua 2, Uyloan 0

Quarterscores: 22-19, 45-44, 65-75, 94-90