The Blackwater Elite are in uncharted waters in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup but the young crew is definitely enjoying the ride. The Bong Ramos-coached squad easily handled the challenge of the Columbian Dyip, winning 120-99, Saturday night at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan, Laguna to grab their seventh win against three defeats.
Blackwater will take on the Phoenix Fuel Masters in their last game of the elimination round with the winner entering the playoffs holding a twice-to-beat advantage.
The Columbian Dyip entered the game with some confidence as they were coming off a win against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their last contest. However, the Elite quickly convinced them that they will not be able to finish their season on a good note.
The Elite were not even challenged in the game as Columbian looked flat from the start. An and-one from Allein Maliksi midway through the first quarter gave Blackwater their first taste of a double-digit lead, 18-8, and they did not relinquish control.
Usually content with setting up his teammates to start the game, Henry Walker was locked-in with his scoring. The Blackwater import finished with 26 points in the game one perfect 9 of 9 from the field. He made his final basket, a triple with 5:19 remaining, to give his team an even 30-point lead, 84-54.
Blackwater scored 33, 30, and 30 in the first three quarters while made the fourth quarter basically 12 minutes of garbage time. The Elite led by as many as 31 points in the game before cruising in the final period for the easy victory.
Mac Belo was the Best Player of the Game with 16 points of 6 of 10 shooting from the field while playing less than 19 minutes.
"Coming off back-to-back losses, we needed to bounce back so coach told us to be aggressive from the start," Belo said. "Getting contributions from the entire team is great for us, especially how we concentrate on defense as a team."
After Belo, there were three more local members of the Elite in double digits as Allein Maliksi and Paul Zamar scored 13 points apiece while Mike DiGregorio added 11.
Blackwater had 13 players contributing points as they shot 14 of 28 from downtown. Their chemistry showed in this game as they had 30 assists.
Wright led Columbian with 28 points and 10 rebounds in his final game while Jerramy King added 11.
Blackwater 120 - Walker 26, Belo 16, Maliksi 13, Zamar 13, Digregorio 11, Erram 9, Pinto 8, Cortez 6, Javier 5, Jose 5, Palma 5, Sumang 3, Sena 0, Cruz 0, Banal 0.
Columbian 99 - Wright 28, King 11, McCarthy 11, Reyes 9, Khobuntin 7, Gabriel 7, Cabrera 6, Corpuz 5, Tubid 4, Ababou 4, Sara 3, Celda 2, Escoto 2, Cahilig 0.
Quarters: 33-20, 63-42, 93-69, 120-99.
- The Columbian Dyip finish the season with the exact same record they had last year. With the loss to Blackwater, Columbian compiled a final tally of six wins against 27 losses.
- Walker had an impressive highlight in the second quarter when he scored on a put-bank dunk off a Mike DiGregorio layup attempt that was blocked by Akeem Wright. The Blackwater import was fouled, missed the free throw, grabbed the offensive rebound, and was fouled again, making two free throws in the unlikeliest of four-point plays.
- The day marks the anniversary of the approval of the trade between Columbian and SMB that sent the Dyip's first pick overall to the powerhouse squad.
- The three players traded from the San Miguel Beermen before the start of the season in Jay-R Reyes, Ronald Tubid, and Rashawn McCarthy combined for 24 points and 15 rebounds. The guy that SMB got back, Christian Standhardinger, had 21 points and 22 rebounds in their last game against NorthPort.
Blackwater: November 4 versus Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum