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Du'Vaughn Maxwell misses chance at 5x5 but saves Phoenix with clutch basket

Du'Vaughn Maxwell's clutch layup down the stretch made up for what could have been a historic stat line for him. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Du'Vaughn Maxwell came up just one assist short of a rare 5x5, that is, someone makes at least five in each of the five main individual basketball stats.

However, the Phoenix import didn't mind missing out on the rare feat as long as he continues to contribute in aspects other than scoring.

"Blocks, steals, assists, and rebounds mean a lot to me because I can score. I can shoot the ball every time, and I don't think I could be stopped. But what can I do to make my teammates better and to be a likable person? If people want to play with a likable person, you got a guy that's back there that would block shots. You'd love him more than a scorer," Maxwell told Dugout Philippines after his splendid two-way game in the Fuel Masters' crucial win against the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

While he had a quiet 15 points, he too had 13 rebounds, five blocks, five steals, and four assists as he contributed to Phoenix's balanced attack that saw five players in double figures.

However, even if he missed out on the 5x5, none was more important than his clutch layup with 32 seconds left that doused cold water on ROS's furious comeback.

"It's just being blessed. I'm an eight-year veteran. I've seen a lot of basketball played in 10 countries, and I've always been that guy in the late game to get things done, so it's natural for me. I'm just blessed to be in a position where the coach and players would trust me to show up in the late game, and that's just me doing my job. Nothing special," Maxwell continued.

Maxwell's impressive all-around game plus the dagger play in the end should silence his critics as the Fuel Masters have made a turnaround from a team in early danger of missing the quarterfinals to a team now in the thick of things for a place in the playoffs.

"It's a blessing. We started off. I have social media. I've seen everybody saying, 'Replace the import so you get a chance to make the playoffs.' And our locker room was the most important. Coach [Jamike Jarin] and the players didn't give up on me. We motivated each other, and we figured it out. So we deserve it more than anything," Maxwell concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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