GLOBALPORT flashed its potential with its new import, before holding steady against Phoenix down the stretch to hack out a 100-91 decision and register in the win column of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier saw a 30-point lead almost disintegrate in the face of a furious Fuel Masters fightback, but did just enough in the endgame to seal their first win after starting the conference with a close loss.
Murphey Holloway showed he’s the real deal, scattering 29 points and 26 boards in his debut as he anchored the Batang Pier defense that limited the high-scoring Fuel Masters to just 59 points after three quarters.
Terrence Romeo added 21 points and five assists, and hit the biggest baskets that doused the Phoenix rally as the Fuel Masters dropped their first game after two straight wins.
“We enjoyed the lead so much that everybody was doing their own thing,” GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren said. “Probably the mindset was Phoenix was going to just roll, but they gave us a bit of a scare.”
“But with our veterans, we’re able to execute with what we had to do,” he added. “And I think we’ve found the import that’s fit for us.”
The Batang Pier looked poised for a runaway victory as they erected a 75-45 lead halfway through the third quarter, but that was when the Fuel Masters embarked on a comeback that got them within five points, 88-83, after an RJ Jazul pull-up three-pointer with a little less than three minutes left in the game.
GlobalPort, though, refused to let Phoenix come any closer as it maintained the cushion, highlighted by Romeo scoring on a strong drive that put the Batang Pier up, 94-85, with 31.5 seconds left.
Eugene Phelps carried the Fuel Masters with 32 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block in almost 46 minutes as the help he needed from the locals came a bit late.
Matthew Wright, the most consistent player for Gilas Pilipinas in the Jones Cup, failed to buy a single bucket in his first game back for his mother team as he missed all his six attempts and scored all his four points from the foul line in 25 minutes off the bench.
GLOBALPORT 100 – Holloway 29, Romeo 21, Arana 13, Pringle 11, Anthony 9, Grey 5, Van Opstal 4, Guinto 3, Pennisi 3, Ababou 0, Cortez 0, Mamaril 0
PHOENIX 91 – Phelps 32, Eriobu 11, Intal 11, Jazul 10, Baguio 5, Alolino 5, Dehesa 5, W. Wilson 4, Wright 4, J. Wilson 2, Kramer 2, Hayes 0, Borboran 0
Quarterscores: 26-15, 54-36, 82-59, 100-91