Phoenix survives Elite in double overtime tiff

By ADRIAN STEWART CO

Monday, March 20, 2017

Blackwater Elite import Greg Smith (4) crashes into Doug Kramer (44) of the Phoenix Fuel Masters during their 2017 Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup match on Saturday. PBA

MANILA – Eugene Phelps came up with a monster game as the Phoenix Fuel Masters escaped to a 118-116 double overtime win over the Blackwater Elite in the 2017 Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Phelps finished with double-double 53 points and 21 rebounds for the Fuel Masters, which joined the Meralco Bolts and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on top with a 1-0 win-loss slate.

JC Intal chipped in 11 markers, while William Wilson, Cyrus Baguio and rookie Angelo Alolino combined 29 points for the Fuel Masters, which played sans injured rookie Matthew Wright.

Both teams exchanged leads during the regulation period with the Elite upped by as much as eight points, while the Fuel Masters led by 10 markers before forcing overtime on an inside hit by Phelps.

In the first overtime, the Fuel Masters surged to a 108-104 lead following hits by Phelps and Baguio. But the Elite answered back behind reinforcement Greg Smith to force another extension period.

With the Elite misfiring early in the second overtime, the Fuel Masters leaned on conversions by Intal and Baguio to push the lead to 118-113 on hits by Mark Borboran and Phelps.

The Elite made its last stand following a triple by Shej Roi Sumang to cut the deficit to 118-116. After two missed free throws by Phelps, Sumang misfired on a three-point try on the other end to close the match.

Smith finished with double-double 37 points and 30 rebounds, while rookie Rey Mark Belo had 21 points for the Elite, which is playing without injured Arthur dela Cruz and John Paul Erram./PN