Phoenix’ slump has finally come to an end, just in time for the Fuel Masters to make a serious case for a spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals.
Prior to their 135-108 win over Globalport, the Fuel Masters were riding a four-game losing streak with three of those losses featuring blown double-digit leads.
The Fuel Masters, however, learned from their mistakes and dominantly took care of the business to improve to a 4-6 record and stay in contention for the playoffs.
“We were just tired of losing, especially me, I’m sick of it,” said shooting guard Matthew Wright Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I’m sick of losing big leads, I made a point of emphasis to put our foot on their necks and develop a killer instinct.”
During its four-game losing streak, Phoenix developed a habit of building double-digit leads in the first half but ultimately relinquishing it and that was what the Fuel Masters were eager to put a stop to against the Batang Pier.
The only time the Batang Pier took the lead was in Malcolm White’s opening bucket, 2-0, before the Fuel Masters opened the floodgates and responded with an 18-4 run to take a 35-17 buffer courtesy of Jason Perkins’ jumper with 1:43 left in the first.
Wright, who finished with 24 points on 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, said he expected his team to work their butts off for the victory.
“I expected us to play hard and that’s exactly what we did today,” said Wright. “You know I’m extremely happy with how the guys conducted themselves and I loved how everyone stepped up.”
And of the 14 players that got playing time for Phoenix, it was Eugene Phelps who distinguished himself as the hardest worker of them all.
Phelps finished with a preposterous 37-point, 23-rebound, 10-assist triple-double making him the first player in 20 years to put up a 30-20 triple-double.
“We have a good team, our record doesn’t really show it but like I said there were a lot of games that we should’ve won,” said Phelps. “Everybody stuck together, and hopefully we can do it in the next game.”
“We finished the game really good, coach [Louie Alas] told us at halftime to just relax,” added Phelps. “We just got to relax and play our game, and that’s what we did today.”
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