MANILA, Philippines -- A mild case of bronchitis could not stop Matthew Wright from playing in Phoenix's crucial Game 3 against San Miguel Beer in their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series on Easter Sunday.
Wright played under 20 minutes, as he struggled with foul trouble while coach Louie Alas also sought to manage his minutes. But he came up big in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points including six free throws in the final 50 seconds to push the Fuel Masters to a 92-90 victory.
He finished with 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting, delivering in crunch time after incurring three early fouls that kept him on the bench for most of the first half.
"Si Matt grabe, tatlong araw na may sakit 'yan, kaya kita niyo, ginagamit ko sparingly lang. Ang ano ko nga, sana huwag lumala 'yung bronchitis niya," said Alas after the game.
"Hindi ko nga sinasama sa practices kasi andoon lang siya, para alam lang niya what we're doing," he added.
Wright made it clear after the game that he had no intention of missing Game 3, especially with the Fuel Masters already down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series.
"We can't go down 3-0 to San Miguel and expect to win," he stressed.
He downplayed his illness as "a little sore throat," and said: "You gotta man up, this is playoffs."
"Everybody's aching, everybody's got injuries. No one's feeling 100%. We have a job to do, and there's no way I was gonna miss that game," Wright said.
Wright will barely have time to get fully recovered, as Game 4 is set for Tuesday with Phoenix looking to tie the series at two games apiece.
What matters, though, is that Phoenix has finally broken through and nabbed its first semifinal win -- something that gives Wright and his teammates plenty of confidence.
"Yeah, it's good to get the monkey off your back in a series, we finally got a win, got to the win column. It's a quick turnaround, we only got two days. Then we got another game so we'll be ready," he said.
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