Import Eugene Phelps poured in a career-high 53 points along with 21 rebounds and five blocks as Phoenix Petroleum nipped Blackwater, 118-116, in double overtime on Saturday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Phelps hit three important baskets in the second overtime to help the Fuel Masters register their first win in opening game.
“Both teams probably deserved to win tonight, but we just had something more. We know what Eugene can give us and Blackwater also have a good import in Greg Smith.
JC Intal finished with 11 points, while Cyrus Baguio and Willie Wilson had 10 points each also for the Fuel Masters.
Blackwater import Greg Smith finished with 37 points and 30 rebounds.
Meanwhile, the defending champion Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Meralco Bolts gun for back-to-back victories when they collide against their respective opponents on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters, who won their first game against the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Road Warriors (113-103) last Friday, battle the Mahindra Floodbuster in first game at 4:30 p.m. while the Bolts face the Road Warriors in second game at 6:45 p.m.
Two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap played his best game in a Rain or Shine uniform since he was acquired from the Star Hotshots via trade in exchange of Paul Lee during the off season. Yap delivered 26 points against NLEX, leading Rain or Shine to its first win this conference.
“It’s nice to see James Yap back. Last conference, I felt his knee wasn’t good and I’m hoping he’ll be healthy,” said Rain or Shine Caloy Garcia during the post game interview. “I’m just asking James to play defense and last night he did a good job.”
Import Shawn Taggart of Rain or Shine, who racked up 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, is expected to match up well with his 6’9 counterpart James White of Mahindra.
White, who scored 33 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a 94-86 loss to the Bolts also last Friday, is keen on sending the Floodbuster to their first win after two outings.
Another player to watch for Mahindra is Alex Mallari who posted 21 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals also against Meralco.
The Bolts, on the other hand, aim for a follow up win against the Road Warriors.
Meralco coach Norman Black of Meralco expects 6’10 import Alex Stepheson to show up more in his offense after scoring only 11 points but pulled down 21 rebounds and registered four blocks in his debut win against Mahindra.
But import Wayne Chism and the Road Warriors are determined to give their sister team, the Meralco Bolts, a good fight to avoid back-to-back defeats.
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.
Quarterscores: 18-18, 38-45, 76-75, 100-100, 118-116.