PBA: Phoenix’s roller-coaster ride will end with consistent defense

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 11, 2018 08:27 PM
PBA: Phoenix’s roller-coaster ride will end with defense
Matthew Wright and Phoenix are still looking for much-needed consistency

BINAN, LAGUNA - Phoenix is yet to have a losing streak in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. 

They are yet to have a winning streak as well. 

In the eyes of Matthew Wright, their up-and-down conference begins and ends with an up-and-down defense. “We just have to (do) what we’ve been practicing. We practice defense every day, but it’s like we go out to the court and sometimes forget,” he told reporters on Friday at the Alonte Sports Arena here. 

What the Fuel Masters’ main man said was no more evident than in their latest loss, 115-120, in overtime to previously winless NLEX. “To be honest, in overtime, I thought we were gonna beat them,” he said. 

He then continued, “But they came out with, like, three straight threes, and in an overtime game, you gotta get stops.” 

Indeed, Wright and teammates battled back from as much as 19 down in regulation before falling victim to a 9-2 start by the Road Warriors in the extra period. 

Phoenix wasn’t able to do anything anymore from that point, suffering its second loss in the tournament - which followed a win, which followed a loss, which followed a win. 

The second-year sharpshooter was the first to admit that he himself had lapses that hurt his team. As he put it, “I messed up on a few plays. Defensively, we were very poor on a couple of possessions (in the endgame) so we have to go back to the drawing board.” 

Nonetheless, Wright said that their roller-coaster ride is just another challenge for the sophomore squad to overcome. “We just have to be consistent. That’s one of the tags for a good team and we’re not 100 percent there yet, but we have the pieces,” he said. 

The good news for the Fuel Masters is that they will have more than a week to regroup as their next assignment is up against Ginebra on May 20. 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. 

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