Phelps makes side trip worthwhile for Phoenix | Inquirer Sports

Phelps makes side trip worthwhile for Phoenix

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 10:28 PM March 18, 2017

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PBA IMAGES

Eugene Phelps unleashed his full arsenal in what could be his first and last game in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Leaving nothing to chance, Phelps exploded for 53 points as Phoenix’s stand-in import.

“My teammates and coaches, they were running plays for me and thank God I was making my shots. It’s my only game here so I had to make a good appearance and win for the team,” Phelps told reporters after leading the Fuel Masters to an 118-116 double overtime win over the Blackwater Elite on Saturday.

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His previous high in the PBA was 52 points set back in the 2016 Governors’ Cup.

Phelps, who went 19-of-32 from the field and collected 21 rebounds and five blocks, already has his services secured by a team in Puerto Rico three months ago.

He just wrapped up a six-month stint in Taiwan on Sunday when he got a call from Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia asking if he could suit up for the Fuel Masters while they await for their import, whom Vanguardia opted not to name yet.

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“I already signed [in Puerto Rico] but coach Ariel hit me up right after Taiwan and asked me if I could come in for like a game or two,” said Phelps, who will be in his fourth year playing in Puerto Rico’s first-tier basketball league. “That’s my guy so I told him I got no problem and I’m here. Thank God we got the win.”

“I like the country, honestly if it was like somewhere else, I would’ve probably told them no. But I love it here, it’s like my second home. I like the environment, the people, the weather, everything besides the traffic. Everything is perfect, I love my teammates, my coaches, and the fans of course. It was worth it.”

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Vanguardia said Phelps needs to be in Puerto Rico on April 6. Phoenix plays Star on Wednesday in a game that Vanguardia hopes Phelps could still play in.

But as it stands, Phelps availability for the coming games remains uncertain.

“I think I’m leaving tomorrow (Sunday). I leave for Puerto Rico on the 29th so I need my break. I just came from Taiwan and I was there for like five-six months, we played like two-three games a week,” Phelps said. “I should be back for the third conference if everything goes to plan so we’ll see what happens.”

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“That’s not yet sure,” Vanguardia said when relayed about Phelps’ plans.

TAGS: Phelps, Phoenix, Puerto Rico, Taiwan

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