|Calvin Abueva continued to shine off the bench for the Fuel Masters. PBA Media Group|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Jason Perkins scored what would be the game-winning shot as Phoenix came back from a late deficit to beat Magnolia, 89-87, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Wednesday night.
Perkins drained a go-ahead triple with 19 seconds left as the Fuel Masters fought back from five points down with two minutes left to steal the win from the Hotshots.
Magnolia was holding to an 84-79 lead with 2:05 to play when Matt Wright went on a 6-0 run by himself to put Phoenix ahead, 85-84, with 47 seconds remaining.
Paul Lee answered with a three-point play to give the Hotshots the lead again, 87-85, with 33 seconds on the clock.
But Wright found Perkins open from beyond the arc for the go-ahead basket that gave the Fuel Masters an 88-87 lead with 19 seconds to go.
Lee still tried to save the game for Magnolia, but he committed a huge turnover that led to a free throw from Perkins and missed the buzzer-beating triple with his team out of timeouts as time expired.
Calvin Abueva, despite committing eight errors, put up 24 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and two steals for Phoenix, which placed one foot into a Top 2 spot, which means twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, after moving up to 8-1.
RJ Jazul went 5-for-7 from the field for 19 points with one rebound, two assists, and three steals off the bench.
Lee and Mark Barroca each had 16 markers for Magnolia, which was sent back to earth after a breakthrough win on Saturday night and fell to 1-3.
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