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Phoenix nears finals stint after subduing TNT

Matt Wright played through the ankle pain to deliver for the Fuel Masters. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Phoenix moved to within a win from its breakthrough PBA appearance after edging TNT, 92-89, in Game 3 of their semifinal series at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center on Sunday night.

Anchored by an inspired performance from Matt Wright, the Fuel Masters took a pivotal 2-1 lead against the Tropang Giga in their best-of-five series.

Still hounded by an ankle injury he suffered in Game 1, Wright, playing off the bench, dropped 25 points including huge baskets that helped Phoenix seal the deal.

Wright scored on a triple with 3:03 left that capped the team's 8-2 run to put them up, 88-81.

TNT would still fight back, cutting the lead down to one, 90-89, with 40 seconds to play, but Wright scored on a turnaround jumper to put the lead back to three with 22 seconds left.

The Tropang Giga had two chances to force overtime, but RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro missed three-point attempts in the end.

Wright went 10-for-19 from the field while also tallying three rebounds, three assists, and one steal for the Fuel Masters, who can end the series on Wednesday night.

Calvin Abueva added 24 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and one block.

Ray-Ray Parks made 19 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and one steal for the Tropang Giga, who need to win Game 4 to stay alive in the series and force the rubber match on Friday night.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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