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Phoenix stuns SMB, seals top seed

Matt Wright helped win the game for the Fuel Masters. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Phoenix locked in the top seed in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals after pipping San Miguel, 96-93, at the Panabo Multi-Purpose Tourism, Sports, and Cultural Center on Saturday night.

A huge five-point swing helped the Fuel Masters salvage the victory from the Beermen as they ended what would be their best elimination round stint in franchise history on top.

Tied at 90-all with 3:12 remaining, both teams failed to score a basket in almost two minutes of play.

But Matt Wright changed that when he buried the go-ahead triple for a 93-90 Phoenix lead with 1:15 left.

Terrence Romeo muffed a layup in the next play, and Jason Perkins scored on a turnaround to up his team's lead to five, 95-90, with 39 seconds remaining.

Arwind Santos kept SMB in the game with a quick triple that cut the lead to two with 31 seconds to play, and his team had a chance to force overtime after Alex Mallari was called for a traveling violation.

But Alex Cabagnot threw a bad pass, giving the Fuel Masters a chance to ice the game.

Perkins, however, still kept the door open for the Beermen as he only made a split from the line with seven seconds left

But with his team out of timeouts, Romeo had to run the full court for his buzzer-beating triple that rimmed off.

Wright finished with 25 points, six rebounds, and one steal for the Fuel Masters, who finished with a 9-2 record.

Perkins added a double-double of 10 point and 10 rebounds with one assist.

Junemar Fajardo put up 29 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks for the Beermen, who fell to 6-4.

Romeo had a belated birthday bash, making 15 points, two assists, and one steal off the bench.

The scores:

Phoenix 96 - Wright 25, Mallari 12, Perkins 10, Chua 9, Kramer 9, Jazul 8, Dennison 7, Revilla 5, Mendoza 4, Abueva 4, Marcelo 3.

San Miguel 93 - Fajardo 29, Cabagnot 17, Romeo 15, Santos 14, Lassiter 7, Nabong 5, Ross 4, Pessumal 2, Mamaril 0, Tubid 0, Rosser 0.

Quarters: 33-19, 49-46, 74-70, 96-93.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno