IT pays to have a hard-working import like Eugene Phelps.
Phelps presided over a telling breakaway, and went to finish with 51 points and 20 rebounds in a double-double performance that powered Phoenix to a 123-97 spanking of NLEX in the Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Fuels Masters sustained a first quarter breakaway as they demolished the Road Warriors for a victory that bolstered their bid for Top Four in the season-ending conference.
The Fuel Masters decked the Road Warriors right on the first quarter with an offensive that never wavered the rest of the game as they coasted to their sixth win in eight outings.
The win which came at the heels of a 101-99 loss they suffered at the hands of Barangay Ginebra last Sept. 29 reinforced Phoenix’s bid for a slot in the Top Four where teams enjoy the luxury of having to win only once in the quarterfinal round to make the semis right away.
The Road Warriors tumbled to their fourth loss in eight outings and although they are still within the magic eight, still they may have to corner all their remaining three games if they are to make a safe passage to the next round.
The Fuel Masters started hot, building double-digit lead right on the opening quarter. They posted 41-18 lead early in the second quarter and fought for every possession as if they were the ones chasing in a physical game.
The Fuel Masters, behind Phelps who already tallied double-double in the first half with 28 points and 11 rebounds, converted 28 of 50 attempts from the floor for a 56% marksmanship, a far cry from horrendous 27% clip by the Road Warriors.
Phoenix (123) - Phelps 51, Abueva 17, Wright 10, Perkins 9, Wilson 8, Intal 7, Revilla 5, Jazul 3, Guevarra 3, Mendoza 3, Eriobu 3, Chua 2, Gamboa 2, Alolino 0, Kramer 0.
NLEX (97) - Fuller 38, Galanza 13, Fonacier 10, Tiongson 6, Monfort 5, Ighalo 4, Quinahan 4, Marcelo 3, Baguio 3, Rios 3, Miranda 3, Tallo 3, Soyud 2, Paniamogan 0, Taulava 0.
Quarterscores: 34-18, 71-33, 94-67, 123-97.