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Borboran nails game-winner as Phoenix stages epic comeback against Globalport


After trailing by almost 26 points, the Phoenix Fuel Masters banked on yet another come-from-behind finish to edge Globalport Batang Pier, 101-99, in the 2016-17 PBA Philippine Cup, Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

“Just play. Our target was to give up less than 25 points in a quarter,” head coach Ariel Vanguardia remarked about the final frame, the only quarter Phoenix won. “I just told them to win the last quarter and they were able to do it. We did not quit.”

The Fuel Masters’ win improves their record to 4-3 to place themselves at solo third in the standings. Globalport, meanwhile, goes down to 3-3 and ties Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Alaska Aces, and Star Hotshots at sixth place.

Three Fuel Masters anchored Phoenix’s offense tonight. Mark Borboran led the charge with 23 markers, including the game-winning tip-in with 2.4 ticks left, along with eight boards. Simon Enciso, despite shooting 5-of-15, had 14 markers.

Matthew Wright, who was the star of the show last game against Meralco, had 19 points highlighted by three treys and had nine boards.

“It was my fault early on. My gameplan did not work,” said Vanguardia.

“We just went to the zone and extended our defense from the backcourt. Changing our defense helped us in this game.”

Opening the final frame behind by 26, 87-61, the Fuel Masters fought back gallantly, receiving huge lifts from Borboran, Enciso, Wright, and JC Intal to erase the wide deficit with a startling 36-9 run highlighted by an Intal lay-up over Stanley Pringle to take the lead for the first time, 97-96, with 54.1 seconds to go.

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A pair of charities by Wright off a loose ball foul from Pringle sent Phoenix up by three, 99-96, with 33.6 on the clock, but Wright himself was whistled for a foul against the three-point shooting Terrence Romeo with 21.6 left. Romeo converted all his free shots to send the match to 99-all.

With possession in their side, Phoenix set up Enciso for a left corner triple. The play went through for Enciso, but the latter missed his shot. However, Borboran was in the perfect position underneath the basket, tipping in the missed shot to lift Phoenix, 101-99, with 2.4 left.

Globalport ran through Terrence Romeo for the potential game-winner, but his triple off the left corner went short, sealing the win for the Fuel Masters.

Vanguardia to coach Adriano “Bong” Go, his mentor, who passed away just this week.

“It’s been an emotional game for me. I lost my mentor Bong Go. I dedicate this game to him,” shared Vanguardia.

Globalport shot better from the field, converting 32 of 78 shots, with 17 of those made from beyond the arc. They also dished the ball better, 22-19, but lost in the rebounding battle against the Fuel Masters, 56-48.

Romeo led Globalport with 32 markers despite shooting 9 for 20 and nine dimes. Pringle had 15 in the loss.

Globalport will play Meralco next week, January 6, Friday, 4:15 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena. On the other hand, Phoenix will face Rain or Shine as they clash in January 8, Sunday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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The Scores:

Phoenix (101) – Borboran 23, Wright 19, Enciso 14, Intal 9, Baguio 7, J. Wilson 7, Alolino 6, Torres 5, Lanete 5, Caperal 4, Hayes 2, W. Wilson 0.

Globalport (99) – Romeo 32, Pringle 15, Pennisi 12, Quinahan 10, Pessumal 10, Canaleta 8, Mamaril 4, Maierhofer 4, Cortez 4, Aban 0.

Quarterscores: 20-22, 42-53, 61-84, 101-99

Written By

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


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