(UPDATED) MANILA, Philippines – Doug Kramer scored only 8 points but made the biggest shot of the game as the Phoenix Fuel Masters complete a come-from-behind 74-72 win over the TNT KaTropa in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday, February 7.
The game was tied at 72-all before Kramer buried a floater over the outstretched arms of Anthony Semerad with 3 ticks left in the game to put Phoenix ahead, 74-72.
. @DougKramer44 wins it for the @phx_fuelmasters with three seconds to go! *** For more PBA content, visit https://t.co/ZIJiUnP27x | #PBAonESPN5 pic.twitter.com/CHCrC33vb3 — ESPN5 (@Sports5PH) February 7, 2018
TNT had enough time to put up a game-tying shot but Kramer, who also had 7 rebounds and two assists, did enough to bother Kelly Williams, who flubbed his last-second attempt.
The KaTropa greatly missed the services of Troy Rosario, who suffered a scary fall early in the 4th quarter, in the crucial stretches of the game. Rosario hit his chin on the floor with still 11:36 minutes left after landing on Jason Perkins. He had to be carried off the court on a stretcher.
Matthew Wright paced the Fuel Masters with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and two assists. He hit a triple with 44 seconds remaining to tie the game at 72-all before providing the pivotal dish for the Kramer game winner.
"Originally, same play 'yun sa previous play ni Matt na 3 points. But I told Matt na, 'They will stay home on you so you have to read kung anong depensa.' Biniblitz kasi siya eh. So good thing pagblitz sa kanya, pick and pop. Good play by Matt," said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas.
(Originally, it was the same play for the previous 3-pointer by Matt. But I told Matt that they will stay home on him so he has to read the defense. They were blitzing him. So good thing is when they blitzed him, he went with the pick and pop. Good play by Matt.)
TNT had the upper hand for most of the game, leading for almost 43 minutes and as much as 13 points, until the Fuel Masters managed to take the driver’s seat late off a Jason Perkins bucket with 3:27 minutes left, 68-68.
Phoenix outscored TNT 18-11 in the 4th period.
Jeff Chan had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the win while Gelo Alolino chipped in 10 points and 5 boards.
Semerad had 12 points to anchor the KaTropa but was scoreless in the final two quarters. Roger Pogoy, who was the only other TNT player to breach double figures, added 10 points, 6 boards and two steals.
Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams finished with 9 and 8 points, respectively, on a combined 6-of-21 shooting in the loss.
Both teams carry identical 4-4 win-loss cards.
Phoenix (74): Wright 16, Chan 11, Alolino 10, Perkins 8, Kramer 8, Wilson 8, Jazul 5, Chua 4, Mendoza 4, Revilla 0, Intal 0, Eriobu 0, Cortes 0, Dehesa 0
TNT (72): Semerad 12, Pogoy 10, Tautuaa 9, Castro 9, Williams 8, Reyes 5, Tamsi 5, Carey 4, Rosario 4, Garcia 3, Torres 3
Quarter scores: 20-24, 30-40, 56-61, 74-72 .
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.