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Wright game-winner lifts Phoenix to semis

Matt Wright capped a 32-point explosion with the marginal basket for the Fuel Masters. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--With his team scrambling to score with the game on the line, Matt Wright opted to take matters to his own hands.

He made the right call.

In a rare game playing off the bench, Wright pulled off the game winner as Phoenix trounced Magnolia, 89-88, in their PBA quarterfinal meeting at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center on Saturday night.

With the shotclock winding down, Wright went for a running triple that swished in with only 9.8 seconds left on the game clock to put the second seeded Fuel Masters ahead.

Paul Lee had a chance to force sudden death for the seventh seeded Hotshots, who entered the quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat disadvantage, but the tough defense of Alex Mallari forced him to take a step back jumper that only bounced off the rim.

Calvin Abueva, who stole a Mark Barroca that eventually led to Wright's heroics, secured the rebound as time expired.

Wright ended up with 32 points on 9-of-18 shooting, five rebounds, nine assists, and one steal for Phoenix, which will face TNT in the semifinals beginning Wednesday night.

Jason Perkins added 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Lee put up 17 points, five rebounds, and six assists for Magnolia, which will miss the semifinals after making back-to-back Philippine Cup Finals appearances.

Ian Sangalang added a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds with one assist.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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