MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix squandered a 16-point lead but had just enough gas left in the tank to stave off Barangay Ginebra in double overtime, 103-98, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, May 20.
Eugene Phelps, who slotted in for injured import James White, displayed every facet of his game with 25 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, two steals and a block to steer the Fuel Masters to their 3rd win in 5 games.
Jeff Chan churned out 22 points and 5 rebounds and Matthew Wright added 19 points and 10 boards as Phoenix dealt the Gin Kings their 3rd loss in 4 outings.
The Fuel Masters were sitting comfortably on a 46-30 lead by halftime before Ginebra slowly clawed themselves back into the game and forced overtime with a Japeth Aguilar triple with 9 seconds left in regulation.
Aguilar had a chance to win it all for Ginebra in the first overtime as he got free from Phoenix's stingy defense and received a pass from Scottie Thompson during a pick and roll but missed on an open layup with 5 seconds left.
Leading 99-98 in the second overtime, Phoenix made sure the game would not be extended to another period.
Justin Chua scored underneath with 41 seconds to make it a 3-point game as Phoenix clamped down on Aguilar in the following possession, forcing him to miss his jump shot.
RJ Jazul's insurance free throws sealed the deal for Phoenix.
Aguilar paced Ginebra with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists while import Charles Garcia added 19 points and 18 rebounds.
Scottie Thompson finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals and Greg Slaughter chipped in 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
Phoenix (103): Phelps 25, Chan 22, Wright 19, Perkins 12, Jazul 12, Chua 4, Kramer 4, Intal 3, Wilson 2, Revilla 0
Ginebra (98): Aguilar 25, Garcia 19, Thompson 17, Slaughter 14, Devance 10, Tenorio 9, Taha 2, Mariano 2, Caguioa 0, Ferrer 0
21-16, 46-30, 64-62, 85-85, 92-92, 103-98 (2OT)
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.