Import Eugene “El Destructor” Phelps with a 45 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and two blocks output led Phoenix Petroleum to a 106-93 victory over Star Hotshots on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Phoenix Petroleum improved its win-loss record to 4-4.
“We have high respects for the Star Hotshots because they’re a grand slam team. Even if we’re up by 20, I am still scared because at any point in time they can come back,” Fuel Masters coach Ariel Vanguardia told reporters during the postgame interview.
Phelps, who hit 11-of-14 free throws, joined forces with Asian import Lee Gwan Hee to allow Phoenix establish a 32-19 cushion entering the second frame.
“Slowly but surely the team is maturing and hopefully we’re peaking at the right time,” Vanguardia added. “We need one more to reach the quarterfinal stage and then hopefully we can gut it out. I’ am happy we’re able to hurdle this.”
Power forward Willie Wilson added 13 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks while Ronjay Buenafe and Cyrus Baguio contributed 11 points each. Hee notched eight points also for Phoenix Petroleum.
Phoenix stayed ahead at the half, 56-47, behind Phelps’ 24 points in the first two quarters and stretched the lead 77-57, late in the third period.
The Hotshots closed the gap, 76-77, at the early part of the final canto after Wright’s basket but Phelps, Baguio and Josh Urbiztondo scored crucial points in the remaining seven minutes to establish a double-digit lead anew for Phoenix.
The Fuel Masters were never threatened from thereon.
Import Joel Wright posted 29 points and 11 rebounds but not enough to prevent the Hotshots from losing their fifth consecutive game for a 1-7 win-loss record.
Phoenix registered more rebounds (47-45), three-pointers (10-7) assists (24-19) and blocks (5-1) than the Star Hotshots.
PHOENIX 106 – Phelps 45, Wilson W. 13, Baguio 11, Buenafe 11, Lee 8, Cruz 6, Lanete 4, Enciso 3, Urbiztondo 3, Miranda 2, Borboran 0, Caperal 0, Torres 0, Wilson J. 0.
STAR 93 – Wright 29, Barroca 12, Simon 11, Sangalang 8, Garcia 7, Yap 7, Maliksi 5, Brondial 4, Mallari 4, Melton 2, Pascual 2, Pingris 2, Reavis 0.
Quarters: 32-19, 56-47, 77-72, 106-93