Phoenix pummels Meralco to open campaign
By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– Phoenix came alive late in the first quarter and bludgeoned Meralco, 116-98, in Day 2 of the Philippine Basketball Association bubble at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center on Monday night.
Despite a solid start from the Bolts that even saw them leading by as much as seven, 16-9, midway through the first quarter, the Fuel Masters took control of the game from thereon, closing the opening frame on a 16-5 run to take a 25-21 lead before pulling away for good in the third quarter with a 39-point blast.
Matt Wright erupted for 36 points on 11-of-23 shooting with four rebounds, six assists, and one steal for Phoenix, which won for the first time under Interim Coach Topex Robinson.
Jason Perkins and Justin Chua each added 17 points as their team dished out 30 dimes in total.
Reynel Hugnatan turned back time with a vintage performance of 16 points on 6-of-7 field goals, two rebounds, and one block for the Bolts.
Phoenix 116 — Wright 36, Perkins 17, Chua 17, Garcia 14, Intal 7, Napoles 6, Jazul 5, Rios 4, Marcelo 4, Heruela 3, Reyes 3, Gamboa 0
Meralco 98 — Hugnatan 16, Newsome 12, Quinto 11, Maliksi 11, Salva 10, Hodge 9, Jose 8, Amer 7, Black 6, Pinto 4, Faundo 2, Caram 2, Jackson 0
Quarterscores: 25-21, 53-41, 92-63, 116-98 (PNA)