Not even a busted lip can stop Eugene Phelps.
Phoenix new import played true to his moniker as he almost single-handedly destroyed GlobalPort Batang Pier to deliver coach Ariel Vanguardia’s first win as head coach of the Fuel Masters, 120-107, Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Phelps, nicknamed ‘El Destructor’, scored 52 points in a dominant debut, the best by an import since Darius Rice’s 56-point performance in Purefoods uniform in the 2008 Fiesta Conference.
At the receiving end of an inadvertent elbow from Globalport counterpart Mike Glover, Phelps played through a deep cut on his bottom lip as they had to pull out one of his teeth. That injury even fueled Phelps, who also collected 16 rebounds and 6 assists, to help Phoenix score a breakthrough win.
“It was a game of runs. The good thing was we stuck together and we had a run of our own in the endgame to get the win. And that’s all that matters,” said Phelps, who will need stitches on his busted lip.
John Wilson added 15 points, including 5 straight at the crucial juncture in the fourth quarter that cooled down a fiery Batang Pier rally, while Korean import Lee Gwan Hee fired 16 points.
Five players scored in double figures for GlobalPort but still not enough to overcome Phelps’ phenomenal debut.
Stanley Pringle and Glover hit 27 each while Terrence Romeo, Joseph Yeo and the comebacking Jay Washington added 20, 14 and 13, in that order, that all went for naught. – By Alder Almo
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