By Jonas Terrado
Matthew Wright scored a turnaround three with 1.2 seconds left in overtime as Phoenix Pulse gave Doug Kramer a victory in his final game by topping Blackwater 120-117 in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Wright hit the high-arching baseline shot off Don Trollano, sending the Fuel Masters in a frenzy to emerge victorious in a non-bearing game pitting teams at the bottom of the standings.
Carl Bryan Cruz’s Hail Mary attempt went nowhere as the Fuel Masters finished the conference with a 3-8 record and a retirement present for Kramer, who the other night announced his retirement through his social media accounts.
“At least we ended our campaign on a winning note, at para din kay Doug,” said Fuel Masters coach Louie Alas, who joined the rest of the players and staff for a team photo with the retiring Kramer.
Wright finished with 28 points after rescuing Phoenix from the jaws of defeat in the final minute of regulation.
The Fil-Canadian sniper hit three triples, the last knotting the score at 107-all with 3.1 to go in the fourth.
Kramer had three points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes, capping a 12-year career that began in 2007 as a first round draft pick of Air21.
He played for six other teams, including the 2012 Powerade squad that reached the Philippine Cup Finals despite being the No. 8 seed. Kramer also won a PBA title with San Miguel Beer in the 2014-15 Philippine Cup.
Import Alonzo Gee had 34 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Fuel Masters, who will now ponder on things that led to their playoff absences the past two conferences following a breakthrough semifinal stint in the Philippine Cup.
Blackwater finished with a league-worst 2-9 record after a campaign marred by trades that led to the departures of key players Mike DiGregorio, Allein Maliksi and star rookie Ray Parks Jr.
Marqus Blakely produced 37 points, 17 rebounds and six assists for the Elite.
PHOENIX PULSE 120 — Gee 34, Wright 28, Garcia 17, Mallari 10, Intal 9, Chua 9, Perkins 4, Jazul 3, Kramer 3, Napoles 2, Gamboa 1, Marcelo 0.
BLACKWATER 117 — Blakely 37, Belo 25, Canaleta 12, Sumang 10, Tolomia 9, Cruz 7, Dario 6, Salem 6, Trollano 5, Desiderio 0, Al-Hussaini 0, Javier 0.
Quarters: 22-16; 45-46; 73-81; 109-109 (Reg); 120-117 (OT).