EUGENE Phelps deflected credit to his teammates after Phoenix grinded out a 95-91 win over NLEX in overtime in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday.
While he carried the Fuel Masters with 29 points and 26 boards in 47 minutes despite battling cramps down the stretch, the prolific import insisted it was team effort that propelled them to their third win in seven games.
“We showed a lot of heart and we got big stops at the end,” said Phelps, whose team trailed most of the fourth quarter, before Cyrus Baguio hit a three-pointer to put them up, negating a Kevin Alas layup on the other end that forced overtime, where Phelps took over.
“It’s a great team,” he added. “We just got to keep on practicing for our chemistry and build on that.”
Phelps turned in his usual monstrous effort on the boards but his scoring output was meager compared to his tournament-best 41.3 points per game clip. Still, he stepped up in the extra period, dropping eight points in overtime, to lift them to the win.
“My teammates looked for me (on offense) and for my rebounds, that’s what I do; pretty much every league I played in, either I’m (number) one or two in rebounds,” Phelps said. “Every time the ball goes up, I feel like it’s money in the air and I like money, so I get it.”
Phelps also got the better of Road Warriors counterpart Bill Walker in their individual matchup as the latter wound up with just 23 points on 8-of-23 shooting while complaining over some calls down the stretch.
Still, Phelps was impressed that Walker, who took a hit to the face late in regulation, managed to finish the game.
“He’s a real good player. I could tell he was fighting through injury, so he’s a warrior,” Phelps said of the NBA veteran.