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Phoenix begins life with Abueva with win over Columbian

Eugene Phelps erupted for 50 points. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Calvin Abueva finally played for Phoenix, but it was Eugene Phelps who led the team's charge in a 113-107 win against Columbian in the first midweek action of the PBA Governors' Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Phelps's 50-point outburst turned out to be just enough as the Fuel Masters survived the Dyip's gallant stand in the second half through huge stops and even Abueva's hustle plays down the stretch.

After a close start, Phoenix began pulling away, going on a 22-1 run, kicking it off with a 15-0 blast, to open a 28-10 advantage late in the first quarter, and the team held the double-digit spread for the rest of the first half.

However, Columbian found its groove in the third quarter, eventually tying the game at 73-all with four minutes left in the period.

The Fuel Masters kept the Dyip from retaking the lead and even reopened a 96-84 cushion with 7:46 to play in the game.

Columbian still did not waver and closed the gap to two, 109-107, with 1:24 to go.

Abueva then came to work, blocking Jerramy King's putback and getting two offensive rebounds, leading to a split from the line with 24.5 seconds remaining.

Rashawn McCarthy then thought Akeem Wright will cut through the middle, leading to a miscue that ended up with Jason Perkins going to the charity line.

Perkins somehow gave the Dyip another chance as he missed two pressure-packed free throws, but Phelps was there for the recovery.

Matt Wright, who was struggling all game long, only made a split from the free throw line, but Abueva was once again there for the offensive rebound, and he finally sealed the win with two free throws. Abueva also got a buzzer-beating block on Roider Cabrera.

Phelps also had 17 rebounds, eight blocks, and one assist, while Abueva amassed 12 markers, 13 boards, five dimes, one steal, and three swats for Phoenix.

King finished with 27 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals for Columbian, which fell to 0-2.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno