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Wright believes league-leading Phoenix is for real


By Miles Morales

Matthew Wright believes that Phoenix has finally started building the character of a champion team.

“I think we’re for real,” Wright said after the Fuel Masters’ 89-87 squeaker over Magnolia on Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“You saw how we came back. Some years prior, we would have lost the game by 30 but (tonight) we kept fighting,” he added

Phoenix had to overcome a 17-point lead in the second quarter to give themselves a fighting chance down the stretch.

The Fuel Masters also showed heart and executed a play designed by coach Louie Alas to perfections after Magnolia’s Paul Lee made a clutch three-point play to give the Hotshots back the lead, 87-85, in the final 33 seconds.

Wright finished with 14 points and buried a big three-pointer in the final 47 seconds that gave the Fuel Masters the lead and the momentum to finish the game.

The Fuel Masters improved to 8-1 and kept the solo lead in the standings.

With the win, the Fuel Masters strengthen their their bid to finish in the top two to get a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.

Phoenix will finish the eliminations with a date with powerhouse Barangay Ginebra on Sunday and defending champion San Miguel on March 16 in Panabo, Davao.