PBA: Ginebra mystique not a factor for Wright, Phoenix
Paul Lintag on Jun 28, 2019 10:42 PM
“Obviously, we respect them. But sometimes we feel like they get a little too much respect and teams are afraid to go at them. Especially with the crowd, it gets intimidating,” — Matthew Wright on Ginebra.
Brgy. Ginebra certainly has that mystique.
The history, the crowd, the Never Say Die spirit, everything comes into play and opposing teams sometimes get overwhelmed when matched up with the barangay.
Ginebra has that mystique but Phoenix pretty much couldn’t care less about it.
Showing absolutely no fear, the Fuel Masters erased a 14-point second half deficit and pounded on the defending champion Gin Kings Friday in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Phoenix scored 45 points in the third, one more that their entire first-half output, to help turn the game around and frustrate Ginebra, taking a strong 111-103 win.
It was an incredible comeback effort from the Fuel Masters team that struggled quite a bit to start this conference.
“Everyone’s so preoccupied with Ginebra and their size, their lineup, but they’re human just like we are, they put their pants on one leg at a time just like me,” Matthew Wright said after burning the Gin Kings for 32 points in Friday’s win.
“Obviously, we respect them. But sometimes we feel like they get a little too much respect and teams are afraid to go at them. Especially with the crowd, it gets intimidating,” he added.
Phoenix most definitely took the the Ginebra crowd out of it in the third when they outscored the Gin Kings, 45-25, to turn a 12-point deficit into a nine-point lead entering the fourth.
The Fuel Masters then survived an onslaught from Justin Brownlee to pick up their first winning streak of the conference and improve to 4-4, same as Ginebra.
That creates a logjam in the team standings as Phoenix, Ginebra, and Alaska currently occupy the 5th-7th spots.
“I wanted to win so bad today,” Wright said.
“I think this was the biggest game of the season for us. It’s a tight PBA race. We’re just focused on the next three games, we’re trying to simplify it,” he added.
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