Phelps debuts with 52 points, sends Phoenix to first win

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GlobalPort’s Yousef Taha (No. 00) and Karl Dehesa (left) double team Eugene Phelps of Phoenix during the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum. BOB DUNGO JR.

GlobalPort’s Yousef Taha (No. 00) and Karl Dehesa (left) double team Eugene Phelps of Phoenix during the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum. BOB DUNGO JR.

Replacement import Eugene Phelps debuted with 52 points along with 16 rebounds and six assists to power Phoenix Petroleum to a 120-107 win over GlobalPort in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

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Phelps, who replaced ineffective import Marcus Simmons, shot 18-of-30 in the field plus 15-of-21 in the foul line to hand the Fuel Masters their first win in four games.

Asian import Lee Gwan Hee scored 16 points, while John Wilson had 15 points and Cyrus Baguio added nine points for Phoenix.

Stanley Pringle and import Michael Glover finished with 27 points for the Batang Pier, who also drew 20 points from Terrence Romeo. But it wasn’t enough to give them a win.

GlobalPort suffered its fourth straight loss.

Phoenix started the game on a high note, taking a 33-26 cushion after the first quarter before sustaining its effort in the second frame to establish a 58-53 lead at the half. GlobalPort unloaded a second half surge highlighted by Glover’s basket to seize the edge at 75-72.

But Phoenix came back to regain the lead, 81-79, with Phelps scoring a three-point play with 2:41 left in the third period. Both teams engaged in a tight contest in the latter part of the third period with the Fuel Masters gaining a slim 86-85 lead entering the fourth period.

The Batang Pier fought tough in the payoff period keeping the game at jabbing distance, but the Fuel Masters had an answer to protect their lead and even stretched it to as many as nine points, enough to secure the win.

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