Du’Vaughn Maxwell’s debut performance has given Phoenix Super LPG renewed confidence in its bid for a quarterfinals berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Maxwell’s 21-point, 21-rebound effort in his first game as a replacement for Dominique Sutton allowed the Fuel Masters to snap a three-game skid and stay inside the top eight of the season-ending conference with a 5-5 record.
Coach Topex Robinson wowed at Maxwell’s performance after Phoenix went on a tailspin when original import Paul Harris went down with an injury and Sutton having an on-and-off showing during his short stay.
“He brought so much energy to us,” Robinson said after Phoenix’s 104-99 win over Alaska Thursday, March 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I think what he brought to us was solid defense on the paint. He's making smart moves defensively, down the stretch, he was making shots.
“But most importantly, I think the energy that he brings to the team is really important. Especially in an import conference wherein you have to have somebody that the locals will believe in, and Du'Vaughn was really the right fit for us.”
The 30-year-old was signed by Phoenix, more than a month after his previous stint which was in Ukraine.
Turns out, Maxwell left his Ukrainian club Cherkasy Monkeys before the end of January to avoid getting trapped in the eventual crisis that saw Russia invading the country.
Phoenix can hope that Maxwell can continue his impressive play in an all-important showdown with Meralco on March 11.
The Fuel Masters are still not out of the woods since defeat may still end their quarterfinal hopes.