Gassed and exhausted as he soldiered on for almost 55 minutes, Eugene Phelps comes up with a new career-high to open the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup
MONSTER GAME. Import Eugene Phelps (L) plays a monster game of 53 points and 21 rebounds to lead Phoenix to a double-overtime victory over Blackwater. Photo from PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Eight months ago American import Eugene Phelps set a career-high 52 points in his PBA debut, bloodied and all.
In an all-new 2017 Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday, March 18, the 27-year-old, gassed and exhausted as he soldiered on for almost 55 minutes, reset his personal record with a 53-point, 21-rebound performance in leading the Phoenix Fuel Masters to a hard-won 118-116 victory over Blackwater Elite in double overtime at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The comebacking Phelps fought tooth-and-nail especially in the second overtime to lead Phoenix to only its third franchise win in overtime. They have yet to lose an overtime game.
Phelps outworked Blackwater in the second extension, scoring 4 straight points to erase a two-point deficit and put Phoenix on top by two, 114-112, 2:35 left to play.
After Mark Borboran provided much needed support with a jumper at the two-minute mark, Phelps effectively sealed the deal with another two-pointer, 118-113, with 40 ticks to go.
Phoenix withstood Blackwater’s late rally from 10 points down in the fourth quarter as Phelps, who also had 5 blocks and was 19-of-32 from the field, scored the Fuel Masters’ last 6 points of regulation to force overtime at 100-all.
JC Intal and Cyrus Baguio contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Willy Wilson came off the bench for 10 markers as well on top of 10 rebounds.
Guard RJ Jazul logged the second longest minutes at nearly 47 minutes while scoring 9 points and dishing out 6 assists. Jazul missed an open 3-pointer towards the end of the first overtime that could’ve won them the game sooner.
Meanwhile, Blackwater’s own import Greg Smith played the exact same minutes (54:49) as Phelps as he dropped 37 points, 26 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Rookie Mac Belo was on the court for over 42 minutes and produced 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Michael Digregorio towed the Elite in the fourth quarter with his timely shots as they overturned the deficit, finishing with 13 points off the bench.
Playmaker Roi Sumang added 11 markers as Blackwater failed to win once again in games that went into overtime, dropping their franchise record during such games to 0-7.
Phoenix (118): Phelps 53, Intal 11, Baguio 10, W. Wilson 10, Alolino 9, Jazul 8, Borboran 8, J. Wilson 4, Lanete 2, Miranda 2, Kramer 2, Dehesa 0, Eriobu 0.
Blackwater (116): Smith 37, Belo 21, Digregorio 13, Sumang 11, Pascual 8, Sena 7, Gamalinda 7, Miranda 6, Ababou 3, Forrester 0, Pinto 0, Cervantes 0, Aguilar 0.
Quarter scores: 18-18, 38-45, 76-75, 100-100, 118-116.