PHOENIX revived its quarterfinal hopes on Wednesday with a runaway 135-108 victory over GlobalPort in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Eugene Phelps came up with a triple-double in the Fuel Masters' first game since trading gunner Jeff Chan to Ginebra for a draft pick on Monday, helping the team arrest a four-game losing skid.
Phelps finished with 37 points, 23 rebounds, and 10 assists, completing the triple-double with an assist to RJ Jazul, who hit a three-pointer with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter.
Phoenix improved to 4-6, just half a game behind 4-5 GlobalPort in the tight race for the bottom four spots in the quarterfinals.
Phelps had 21 points in the first half alone as Phoenix closed the first quarter with a 24-9 run to post a 41-22 lead. The Fuel Masters were never seriously threatened after that.
The Batang Pier's woes only deepened in the second half when Kelly Nabong was thrown out late in the third quarter for a flagrant foul two.
“Finally, naka-manage kami ng lead,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas. “Everytime, first quarter, house on fire pero pagdating sa second half, nagfo-fold. Hopefully, this is a start of something big for us."
“At least we are still breathing. Hindi pa kami magbabakasyon. Hopefully, mag-start na ‘yung pag-grow ng team,” Alas added.
Matthew Wright had 24 points for Phoenix while going 6-of-8 clip from beyond the arc to complement Phelps, who was 13-of-19 from the field.
Malcolm White had 24 points and six rebounds, while Sean Anthony had 15 points for the Batang Pier.
Phoenix 135 – Phelps 37, Wright 24, Perkins 13, Jazul 11, Revilla 9, Intal 9, Gamboa 9, Kramer 6, Wilson 6, Dehesa 4, Guevarra 3, Chua 2, Mendoza 2, Eriobu 0.
GlobalPort 108 – White 24, Anthony 15, Pringle 14, Javelona 10, Elorde 9, Grey 9, Guinto 8, Arana 7, Tautuaa 6, Gabayni 3, Flores 2, Nabong 1, Bulawan 0.
Quarters: 41-22; 70-51; 107-77; 135-108.