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    Import Eugene Phelps plays down role in rise of Phoenix

    Sep 2, 2016
    Phoenix is 4-1 since Eugene Phelps came in to replace Marcus Simmons. Jaime Campos

    PHOENIX import Eugene Phelps insisted he was hardly worried when Star made a huge comeback in their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup on Friday night, confident the Fuel Masters would retaliate with their own run.

    The Fuel Masters were enjoying a 77-57 lead when the Hotshots launched a 19-0 run to come to within one point early in the fourth quarter.

    It was the longest unanswered run by any team in more than two years or since Ginebra went on a 22-0 run that enabled them to pull off a win against Barako Bull in the 2014 Governors’ Cup.

    The Hotshots, however, failed to sustain the momentum as they allowed the Fuel Masters to counter with their own salvo to still win comfortably, 106-93.

    “They made their run, so I knew we'll have ours,” Phelps said. “As a basketball player, you can't feel pressure because if you do, you'll end up questioning yourself, questioning your teammates.”

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    “We've got a great coaching staff, so I knew we're going to get a win,” added the prolific import, who exploded for 45 points and 17 boards in 43 minutes. “Coach told us to keep our composure.”

    Phelps also paced the Fuel Masters’ late surge, scoring 15 of his output the payoff period. Phoenix is now 4-1 (win-loss) with him leading the way after starting the conference with three losses with Marcus Simmons.

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    “I'm just trying to do my job,” Phelps said. “I play one-hundred percent every time, trying to rebound, get buckets. That's what I do.”

    Phelps conspired with trade acquisition Cyrus Baguio, who scored eight of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

    “He's a great player. He's a veteran,” Phelps said of Baguio. “Every time we need a big shot, he makes it. It's just his presence on the floor as a veteran.”

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    Phoenix is 4-1 since Eugene Phelps came in to replace Marcus Simmons. Jaime Campos
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