(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. -- NLEX vs. Blackwater
7 p.m. -- Rain or Shine vs. Magnolia
PHOENIX is rising.
With import Eugene Phelps providing the spark, Phoenix defeated Magnolia Pambansang Manok, 95-82, in a duel of two of the hottest teams in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Phelps finished with monster numbers of 36 points and 20 rebounds and four blocks, but it was his leadership that spelled the difference in the Fuel Masters’ third straight win and fifth in six matches overall.
It was Phoenix’s best start to a conference in franchise history.
Before beating the Hotshots, the Louie Alas-mentored Fuel Masters have also won their last two outings -- 96-86 vs Meralco last Sept 19 and 112-82 against Talk N Text last Aug. 31.
Magnolia went down to its first loss in three outings.
“Finally we beat Magnolia, which one of the best teams, especially on defense,” said Alas after the game.
“And were able to clamp down on their offensive guys especially in the third quarter,” he added.
The 28-year-old Phelps, who long PBA resume included a rare triple double of 37 points, 23 rebounds in 10 assists in a runaway 135-108 win over NorthPort last June, almost singlehandedly did it all in the payoff period.
His two free throws put Phoenix ahead, 73-67, at the start of the fourth quarter, his dunk shot made it 87-75 with 3:34 left and two more charities gave the team 89-80 lead with 1:49 remaining.
Matthew Wright added 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists and Justin Chua contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks for Phoenix, which held Magnolia scoreless for almost five long minutes to increase a precarious three-point lead with still 10 minutes left in the game to 10 points with 5:33 remaining.
Calvin Abueva had nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists in less than 29 minutes on the floor.
Romeo Travis led Magnolia with a double-double with 28 points and 19 rebounds.
Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon added 11 points each.
Jalalon, however, foule dout with still five minutes left.
Actually, Phoenix played better with 33-of-71 shooting for 46 percent against Magnolia’s 29-of-90 for only 32 percent.
And while both teams almost had identical numbers in rebounds, assists and steals, Phoenix had 11 blocks against only two by Magnolia.
Phoenix (95) --Phelps 36, Wright 13, Chua 12, Abueva 9, Revilla 9, Jazul 9, Perkins 7, Intal 0, Wilson 0.
Magnolia (82)-- Travis 28, Barroca 11, Sangalang 11, Jalalon 11, Lee 8, Ramos 6, Dela Rosa 3, Melton 2, Gamalinda 2, Pascual 0, Reavis 0, Brondial 0, Herndon 0.
Quarterscores: 30-19, 48-48, 71-67, 95-82.