Photo from PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix needed every bit of Eugene Phelps' monster performance to gift the debuting Calvin Abueva a 113-107 win over Columbian in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 22.
Phelps scattered 50 points, 17 rebounds and 8 blocks while Abueva chalked up 12 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks and provided the finishing touches as the Fuel Masters avoided a collapse to start their campaign on a high note.
It was obviously Phelps' night as he reached the 50-point plateau for the third time in the league but it was Abueva, who played his first game for Phoenix following his trade from Alaska, who delivered down the stretch.
With the Dyip trimming what was once an 18-point deficit to just 2 points thanks to an Akeem Wright trey, 107-109, Abueva blocked a potential game-tying Jerramy King bucket in the final minute.
"The Beast" then pulled down two offensive boards in the next possession and drilled in a foul shot to make it a 3-point game.
Columbian still had a chance to equalize only to witness King turn the ball over as Abueva hauled down two more offensive boards and sealed the triumph with two insurance free throws.
Jason Perkins chipped in 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists while Matthew Wright added 6 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in the win.
King paced the Dyip – who remained winless in two games – with 27 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while Wright churned out 25 points, 14 rebounds and 6 dimes.
Phoenix 113 - Phelps 50, Abueva 12, Perkins 11, Intal 8, Jazul 7, Revilla 6, Wright 6, Chua 6, Mendoza 4, Gamboa 3, Eriobu 0.
Columbian 107 - King 27, Wright 25, McCarthy 19, Camson 12, Lastimosa 6, Escoto 3, Cahilig 3, Ababou 3, Tubid 3, Corpuz 2, Gabriel 2, Khobuntin 2, Celda 0, Reyes 0, Cabrera 0, Sara 0.
Quarters: 31-17, 56-42, 84-79, 113-107.
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.