If there's one Blackwater player who is most motivated to seal the No. 4 spot for the team in the 2018 Governors' Cup, it's Poy Erram.
Erram has had his ups and downs with the Elite since being selected by Blackwater in the 2014 Dispersal Draft. Now that the Elite are on the rise, the 6-foot-8 slotman is doing everything in his power to keep it that way.
Blackwater is eying a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs. But to do that, the Elite have to go through an also resurgent squad in Phoenix Fuel Masters reinforced by prolific import Eugene Phelps and Calvin Abueva.
"Ever since I came here, I experienced everything. We lost the entire conference one time. That's been my motivation: All those years that losses pile up," said Erram in Filipino.
"Now we're complete. In terms of personnel, we're complete. We have a leader who is our import (Henry Walker). We just need to stay together to be successful."
It's definitely unfamiliar territory for Blackwater, which wound up with a lone win in the Commissioner's Cup. While most were surprised with their rise, Erram is not.
The former Ateneo standout said each player is putting in the work to put Blackwater where it is today.
"Other may be surprised... we're not. We worked hard for this, I think you guys can see that. My teammates and I worked night in and night out for this," he said.
But there's actually something the team is longing for more than the No. 4 spot.
"In the coming conferences, we want other teams to realize we're no longer pushovers. We're not like that," he said. "We have all the pieces now. We're young, we just needed guidance. But in terms of talent, I think we can keep up with any team in the PBA."
Blackwater will have another shot at proving that on Sunday when it takes on the Fuel Masters at 4:30 P.M. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"If we stay together as a team, play together as a team, we will win," he said. "We'll see after the game which team is hungrier."