By Kevin Sox
As the Phoenix Fuel Masters collapsed in Game 2 of their PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals encounter against the San Miguel Beermen, sharpshooter Matthew Wright rued a missed chance for his squad to tie the heated series against the defending all-Filipino champions.
“We felt like it should have been 1-1,” said Wright to Paul Lintag of ABS-CBN Sports Online in the aftermath of their 92-82 defeat last Monday night.
“It was a frustrating loss to say the least. I felt like we played well, especially in the first half, I felt like we got what we wanted to do on offense. Defensively we were really clicking, making it hard for June Mar. But and then we just collapsed in the fourth in the last couple of minutes, we just crumbled you know?”
The Fuel Masters seem to have dictated the tempo in the third quarter when they led by as much as a dozen.
However, Louie Alas’ troops once again faltered towards the clutch, falling into a deep hole in the semi-finals.
And knowing the caliber of the defending four-time Philippine Cup champions, such deficit even in a best-of-7 series is alarming.
The least the Fuel Masters can do is to take away positives from the loss, such us playing with more identity and cohesion.
“We looked like Phoenix today,” told Wright of their Game 2 performance.
Phoenix drew solid showings from key stars like Calvin Abueva and Jason Perkins, but more work needs to be done.
“Last game we weren’t nearly as aggressive, we didn’t pressure the ball and we didn’t cause as much turnovers. Today we actually played our game, but the game is not over after three quarters. We just couldn’t pull it out in the end.”