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Tiebreaker Times


Matthew Wright makes sure to entertain Ulysses victims

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY — Matthew Wright felt extremely relieved after his Phoenix Super LPG escaped the jaws of defeat and survived Magnolia to barge into the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, Saturday night.

“I think that’s the best seventh-seed I’ve ever seen,” he said, as the Fuel Masters didn’t waste their win-once incentive as the no. 2 seed.

“That’s a good team right there. It took everything out of us to win that game.”

The game was down the wire in every sense. Phoenix even saw itself on the brink after it went down by two, 86-88, with less than two minutes remaining in the game — until the 29-year-old guard came through.

Wright buried a one-legged three-pointer from the left wing with only 9.3 seconds left to play. A missed fall-away jumper by counterpart Paul Lee on the other end then sealed the gritty 89-88 victory.

“There were times where things were looking pretty bleak; there were times they were the more aggressive team. They looked like they wanted it. We just found a way,” said the Fil-Canadian sniper, who finished with 32 points.

Phoenix found a way to leave the SMART 5G-powered AUF Sports and Cultural Center with the W. And for Wright, their inspiration in the tight battle was bigger than basketball.

Those affected by Typhoon Ulysses.

“Honestly, we just drew inspiration from — especially me, I was watching the news, and I saw the victims of the hurricane. It’s so sad,” lamented the St. Bonaventure product, who traces his roots to Tarlac.

“We’re such in a privileged position — we were in a hotel, we didn’t really experience it. But the rest of the country was in dismay and it was so sad to see.”

And so the game, which actually garnered 189,000 same-time views on Facebook livestream, is dedicated to the victims of Ulysses, said Wright. And he hopes that they were able to bring something to smile about amidst tough times.

“We dedicate this game to all the victims, and we hope that whoever’s watching. If this game even gave you guys a little bit of happiness, a little bit of a smile, then our jobs are worth it.”

#ReadMore  Comeback from 7-13 down? It was part of the plan, says Godfrey Okumu
Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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