BLACKWATER finally found a way to win in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday, thanks to a big fourth quarter explosion.
Flashing a strong finish rarely seen in them, the Elite brought down NorthPort, 107-98, for their first win after dropping their first two outings in the season-ending conference.
The Elite lost badly to Talk ‘N Text, 135-107 on Sept. 25, and then got a 115-109 spanking from NLEX four days later on Sept. 29.
“I thought our team played a lot better tonight,” said Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan. “The challenge was to win the rebounding department, to lessen our turnovers, and increase our assists.”
At the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, however, the Elite showed remarkable improvements on both ends, and did very well from outside as manifested by the 13 triples they made.
There were times too when their offense went sputtering as when they allowed the Batang Pier to unleash a scary 11-to-nothing run capped by Robert Bolick’s triple at the onset of the third period.
With Mychal Ammons, Paolo Taha and Bolick teaming for that 11-0 run, the Batang Pier grabbed the lead at 52-51 early in the third. They briefly held on to that lead as the Elite soon found their bearings.
Bobby Ray Parks, easily the most consistent among the locals on the Blackwate side, came through with one of his four triples in the game, while Roi Sumang added four and Allein Maliksi a basket of his own as the Elite posted a 73-63 lead late in the third.
Since posting that lead, the Elite were never threatened seriously in the game, with Sumang cutting loose with a triple and a basket to put Blackwater beyond reach, 94-76, with 5:56 remaining in the game.
Marqus Blakely showed some improvements as well with 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a performance ably backed up by Parks, Mike Digregorio, Carl Bryan Cruz and Sumang.
Ammons led the Batang Pier with 29 points and 17 rebounds, but couldn’t make the sparks when needed most as NorthPort tumbled to its third straight loss.
Blackwater (107) - Parks 21, Cruz 16, DiGregorio 14, Sumang 14, Blakely 13, Belo 7, Maliksi 7, Cortez 6, Al-Hussaini 6, Desiderio 3.
NorthPort (98) - Ammons 29, Bolick 14, Tautuaa 12, Elorde 12, Ferrer 7, Anthony 6, Taha 5, Escoto 5, Mercado 3, Lanete 3, King 2, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 27-23, 51-41, 73-69, 107-98.