Who found Phelps for Phoenix? Its former TNT coach now Pacers assistant coach Bill Bayno
Eugene Phelps has all the reasons to smile despite a busted lip and a lost front teeth after scoring 52 points in his Phoenix debut. Jaime Campos

AFTER Dexter Shouse, it's Bill Bayno's turn to lend a hand scouting and recommending an import to play in the PBA.

Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia revealed it was the former Talk 'N Text mentor who had a hand in spotting Eugene Phelps to be the Fuel Masters' latest reinforcement in the season-ending Governors Cup.

The muscular import turned out to be a gem of a recruit -at least in his debut game - after erupting for a career-high 52 points in the team's 120-107 win over GlobalPort Sunday night.

"Sabi sa akin ni coach Bill Bayno if he can dominate in Puerto Rico, he can dominate the PBA," said Vanguardia, who remained in constant touch with the American coach responsible for steering the Texters to the finals of the 2002 Commissioner's Cup.

Bayno is now an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers.

Shouse, the former Shell import, was the one who recommended James White to Mahindra through team consultant Joe Lipa, whom Shouse played for in the late 80s

Vanguardia remained friend with Bayno, the former University of Nevada Las Vegas mentor, even after the 54-year-old American hasn’t been back to the country since his stint with TNT.

The Phoenix coach said it was his fault for not bringing in Phelps earlier even though he’s been under the Fuel Masters’ radar. The team has been coveting former Kentucky University stalwart De Andrew Liggins, who was later signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers following the Summer League.

 The Fuel Masters instead settled for Marcus Simmons, who failed to lead the team to a win in its first three games.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos