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Free throws decide outcome as Phoenix overcomes late NorthPort rally

It's Jason Perkins' turn to drop 30 for the Fuel Masters. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Phoenix weathered NorthPort's comeback trail to post a 110-105 win in their PBA Season 45 clash at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center on Thursday night.

Up by as much as 14 points in third quarter, the Fuel Masters found themselves engaging in a down-the-wire finish as the Batang Pier came to within two, 104-106, with 13 seconds remaining.

But dagger free throws from Jason Perkins and RJ Jazul sealed the victory for Phoenix as NorthPort could not complete the endgame rally.

Perkins finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists for the Fuel Masters, who are now 2-0 in the season, tying the TNT Tropang Giga at the top of the standings.

Matt Wright, who exploded for 36 points in Phoenix's season opening win against Meralco, played more of a facilitator this time, dishing nine assists, but he still made 23 points on top of seven rebounds and one steal.

Chris Standhardinger put up 28 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, but he only made 6-of-16 from the free throw line as NorthPort fell to 0-2.

Sean Anthony made a triple-double of 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists with four steals.

As a unit, the team only shot 25-of-42 from the charity stripe.

The scores:

Phoenix 110 -- Perkins 31, Wright 23, Chua 17, Jazul 10, Heruela 9, Rios 8, Intal 5, Napoles 4, Marcelo 3, Garcia 0, Reyes 0

NorthPort 105 -- Standhardinger 28, Anthony 23, Lanete 17, Ferrer 14, Taha 7, Nabong 6, Elorde 4, Revilla 2, Guinto 2, Cruz 2, Subido 0, Manganti 0

Quarterscores: 23-23, 55-51, 83-77, 110-105

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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