Phoenix earns first win as Wright, Phelps punish Barangay Ginebra

Delfin Dioquino
Phoenix earns first win as Wright, Phelps punish Barangay Ginebra
Matthew Wright hits the game-winning bucket, while Eugene Phelps churns out a triple-double to steer Phoenix into the winning column

MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix squandered a huge lead before surviving a major scare from Barangay Ginebra in a nail-biting 103-101 win in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, September 28.

Matthew Wright capped off his 28-point performance with the game-winning bucket with 6 seconds remaining as the Fuel Masters finally cracked the winning column after dropping their first two outings.

The Gin Kings had one final chance to complete their comeback from 23 points down after finding import Justin Brownlee open from way beyond the three-point line but his shot rimmed out at the buzzer.

Import Eugene Phelps churned out a triple-double of 27 points, 23 rebounds, 11 assists, and 3 blocks and was the driving force for Phoenix in its first-quarter onslaught. 

Phelps scored 11 of his output in the maiden period that saw his side bury Barangay Ginebra by 17 points, 41-24. 

That lead swelled to 51-28 – their biggest of the game – off a Justin Chua basket and the Fuel Master entered the payoff period comfortable ahead at 81-66.

But the Gin Kings did not crumble and unloaded an 11-0 run in the final two minutes to tie the game at 101-101 off a RJ Jazul turnover that paved way for an easy Justin Brownlee deuce with 12 ticks left.

Jazul, though, compensated for his crucial mistake by assisting Wright for the go-ahead jumper. 

Chua finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, Jazul had 10 points and 4 rebounds, while Alex Mallari added 9 points and 4 assists in the win. 

Like Phelps, Brownlee had himself a triple-double of 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists, but his numbers were not enough for Barangay Ginebra to remain on the winning track as it fell to 1-1.

LA Tenorio had 20 points, Stanley Pringle chipped in 19 points, Japeth Aguilar put up 18 points, while Greg Slaughter added 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals in the loss. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.