BLACKWATER got off to the expected bad start but regainedits bearings in time to gut out a 96-89 victory over NorthPort Monday in thePBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena andCultural Center in Angeles City.
Don Trollano, Roi Sumang and Mac Belo did the most damage for the Elite, who buckeda listless start to the game, got its bearings in the third period and thenhung tough in the face of the Batang Pier’s fiery fightback.
As aresult, Blackwater joined San Miguel Beer, TNT, Barangay Ginebra and PhoenixSuper LPG in the winner’s column of the tournament being held in a bubble inPampanga to offset the COVID-19 pandemic.
The wayhis charges kept its composure made coach Nash Racela proud as they made himvictorious in his first game back at the helm in the PBA.
Beforeleaving the game in the last four minutes due to a rib injury, Trollano hasnotched 17 points and 10 rebounds. Sumang and Belo both came off the bench toscore 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Sponsoredcontent:Christian Standhardinger finished with his owndouble-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds to go with six assists, while SeanAnthony tallied his own solid stats line of 22, 13 and six.
But GarvoLanete was the only other NorthPort player in double figures with 14 and onlyfour in the last three quarters.
Despitetheir shooting struggles the Batang Pier battled back from being down 67-84 tothreaten within 89-93, still 1:01 to go. They even had the chance to movecloser when a Frank Golla miss from the left corner.
But KevinFerrer lost the ball under pressure from Sumang, with the ball scooped up by EdDaquioag for a fastbreak layup that made it a six-point game and practicallysealed the win.
Teamskipper KG Canaleta boomed in his first basket of the game from way out andthat proved to be the spark the Elite needed as they proceeded to go on amassive 30-9 run spanning the last two quarters.
Sumang and Belo starred in that surge from a 50-56 countand gave Blackwater its first 17-point lead at 82-65.
Despitemissing its first four shots and falling behind by 4-15, Blackwater showedresilience by hanging on the coattails of NorthPort before a 6-0 spurt put iton top for the first time at 34-32.
Wiltingwas far from NorthPort’s mind, however, and Standhardinger and Anthony led theway in a fiery fightback that even netted the Batang Pier a 47-38 lead at thehalf. (NC)
Blackwater96- Sumang 17, Trollano 17, Belo 16, Daquioag 13, Tolomia 8, Magt 8, Desierio 4,Canaleta 3, Salem 3, Dennison 3, Shaw 2, Golla 2, Gabriel 0, Dario 0.
NorthPort89 – Standhardinger 23, Anthony 22, Lanete 14, Nabong 7, Elorde 7, Taha 5,Manganti 3, Subido 3, Ferrer 3, Cruz 2, Revilla 0.
Quarters:21-25, 38-47, 79-65, 98-89