Phoenix showed its true character by clawing back from a 17-point deficit to hack out an 89-87 victory over Magnolia in the PBA Philippine Cup at Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.
Calvin Abueva engineered the Fuel Masters' comeback with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.
But it was Matthew Wright's assist resulting in Jason Perkins' go-ahead 3-pointer that knocked out the Hotshots in the dying seconds of the game.
Magnolia proved to be the biggest test so far for the Fuel Master, who came into the game with a 7-1 record.
The game was already tight when Wright sank a dagger 3 that swung the lead back to Phoenix, 85-84, with 47 seconds remaining. But Paul Lee recovered the advantage for Magnolia with a fadeaway jumper and free throw.
In the ensuing play, Wright found Perkins open in the corner and found a way to break the Hotshots.
RJ Jazul finished with 19 points for Phoenix, while Wright and Perkins had 14 and 12, respectively.
Lee and Mark Barroca each had 16 points for the Hotshots.
Magnolia, which was looking for a followup victory after beating Meralco over the weekend, tumbled down to 1-4.
Phoenix Pulse 89 – Abueva 24, Jazul 19, Wright 14, Perkins 12, Mallari 8, Chua 6, Kramer 4, Dennison 2, Revilla 0, Mendoza 0, Marcelo 0.
Magnolia 87 – Lee 16, Barroca 16, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 10, Dela Rosa 10, Reavis 7, Brondial 6, Gamalinda 4, Ramos 3, Melton 2, Herndon 2.
Quarters: 13-17; 39-44; 63-69; 89-87.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)