MANILA — Phoenix sealed the top seed in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals after a tight 96-93 win against San Miguel at the Panabo Multi-Purpose Tourism, Sports, and Cultural Center on Saturday night.
The Fuel Masters bubbled a hot start but eventually held on as Matt Wright and Jason Perkins came alive in crunch time.
Phoenix raced to a 33-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, but SMB responded with a 27-16 second quarter to cut the lead to three, 49-46, at halftime.
The game remained tight for almost the entire second half, and the game was even tied, 90-all, with 3:12 remaining.
However, Wright buried a huge three-pointer with 1:15 to play to give the Fuel Masters a 93-90 lead.
Perkins then scored on a turnaround jumper to extend their lead to five, 95-90, with 39 seconds left.
Arwind Santos kept the Beermen in the game with a quick triple, and they even had a chance to force overtime as Perkins only made a split from the free throw line to stretch their lead to three with seven seconds left.
But Terrence Romeo missed a three-point try at the buzzer.
Wright finished with 25 points, six rebounds, and one steal for Phoenix, which will finish the eliminations with a 9-2 record.
Perkins added a double-double of 10 point and 10 rebounds with one assist.
Junemar Fajardo’s 29-point, 12-rebounds, two-assist, and two-block performance was flushed out as SMB fell to 6-4.
Romeo had a relatively fine stint a day after his birthday, putting up 15 points, two assists, and one steal off the bench.
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. (PNA)