Phoenix hangs on in Game 3, cuts SMB lead to 2-1
MANILA, Philippines—Heeding its mentor’s call to be “tougher than their toughest,” Phoenix carved out a 92-90 victory over San Miguel Beer in Game 3 of the Philippine Cup semifinals Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Calvin Abueva spearheaded Phoenix’s offense in the first three quarters, while Matthew Wright picked up the scoring cudgels in the payoff period, laying waste to San the Beermen’s spirited attempts late.
“I have to commend them for their resiliency,” Louie Alas said of his wards, most notably pointing to Wright who was playing through a case of mild bronchitis.
“Of course we expected [the Beermen] to keep it close,” he said of San Miguel’s comeback ties late in the game. “They’re the defending champions, after all.”
Abueva and Wright both finished with 18 points to help Phoenix notch a victory in their race-to-four against the defending conference champions.
The Beermen drew the brunt of its production from its usual suspects. June Mar Fajardo scored 22, 18 of which coming in the second half. Alex Cabagnot finished with 18 points while Christian Standhardinger and Terrence Romeo both added 16 each off the bench.
“The important thing was to hang in there and match their toughness,” Alas said.
Phoenix shoots for the equalizer on Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.