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Phoenix scores 2nd straight OT win vs TNT

Matt Wright led Phoenix in yet another overtime win. PBA Media Group
By Dugout Philippines

ANTIPOLO—Phoenix Pulse survived another overtime battle with a 93-84 decision over TNT KaTropa and seized the early solo lead in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center here Saturday night.

Matthew Wright, Alex Mallari, Calvin Abueva and Jason Perkins all had yeoman's job as the Fuel Masters came through with a follow-up to their 93-92 OT nail-biter Wednesday over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

[Related Story: Abueva scores game-winner as Phoenix upends Meralco in OT]

Phoenix, thus, became the first team in four years to start a season with back-to-back victories in OT matches while sending TNT to a first 0-2 start in 25 conferences.

"Two overtimes in two games, nakakapagod," said Phoenix coach Louie Alas, flashing a toothy smile.

He couldn't hide his happiness in their strongest start in a tourney.

Wright fired a team-high 23 points, Abueva (14 points and 12 rebounds) and Perkins (11 markers and 15 boards) delivered double-double numbers while Mallari contributed 15 markers as Phoenix outfought TNT in a slambang battle marred by Mike Miranda's punching foul on Justin Chua at endgame.

The outcome of the game was beyond recall when Miranda hit Chua with a closed fist to the body after the TNT center scored underneath the basket.

The former SSC Stag now faces possible suspension and fine from the Commissioner's Office.

The game was earlier marred by technical fouls by Miranda himself, Perkins and Kelly Williams.

But it was surely a well-fought battle that went into overtime on RR Pogoy's last of seven three-pointers in the game.

Pogoy sizzled with a career-high 30-points, including 17 in the fourth quarter.

The Fuel Masters, however, proved to have so much in their tank as they drubbed the Texters, 14-5, in OT.

From an 84-82 lead, Abueva, Wright and Mallari combined in a decisive 7-0 attack as the Fuel Masters eventually put the game away at 91-82 with time down to 30.9 seconds.

The two teams engaged in a defensive battle early on, with the Texters taking the half at 26-25.

The Texters struggled with a 9-of-34 clip as against the Fuel Masters' 9-of-39 shooting.

The struggle in the first half also saw TNT committing 14 errors as against Phoenix's 16.

But the two teams started to hit their strides in the third, with the Fuel Masters taking a 10-point lead before the Texters came through with their own run to make it a two-point game, 54-56, going into the final canto. 

The scores:

Phoenix 93 - Wright 23, Mallari 15, Abueva 14, Perkins 11, Chua 7, Revilla 7, Intal 7, Kramer 2, Guevarra 2, Napoles 2, Dennison 2, Marcelo 1, Jazul 0, Gamboa 0, Mendoza 0.

TNT 84 - Pogoy 30, Castro 18, Miranda 11, Semerad 9, Heruela 8, Reyes 4, Williams 2, Taha 2, Carey 0, Trollano 0.

Quarters: 11-16, 25-26, 56-54, 79-79, 93-84.

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