Despite dropping their first two games in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup, Mike DiGregorio admitted he never really lost faith in the new-look Elite squad.
Blackwater lost slotman John Paul Erram, gunner Paul Zamar and Nard Pinto in the offseason that somehow disrupted team chemistry. But DiGregorio believes it was just a matter of time before the Elite got its act together, with rookies Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter in tow.
"We had a lot of new guys, rookies and free agents this season. But the more time we spent together, the character and mental toughness, those things take time, they don't just happen overnight, but we're a fighting group and we're not gonna lay down and just accept losing," DiGregorio told ESPN5, shortly after Blackwater beat Rain or Shine Wednesday night.
DiGregorio scorched the Elasto Painters with 27 points, spiking his hot-shooting performance with 7-of-10 shooting from the three-point zone. He also had five rebounds and four steals.
"I think we're winners. We have a lot of guys with a winning mentality in the team," he added. "We wanna show that we're here to fight and we played really hard. We come to win every single game."
Allein Maliksi fired 23 points, while Chris Javier had a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Tratter added 12 and eight boards.
The Elite will now have to shift their focus to Friday's matchup against Phoenix and hope to clinch back-to-back wins.
"Today was a good win. We got to enjoy for today, but come Thursday we forget about it and prepare for the next game. That's part of the character and mental toughness as a team," he said.