Henry Walker saved his best for last as Blackwater chalked up its first win at the expense of Magnolia, 86-84, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cold for most of the match, Walker found an open lane and took off for an emphatic throwdown against Rafi Reavis with a little over three seconds remaining that proved to be the game winner.
The former NBA player missed the bonus free throw but made up for it with his defense, blocking Jio Jalalon's last-ditch heave from beyond the half court line as time expired.
The Elite improved to 1-7 while the Hotshots absorbed their third loss in six matches.
It was JP Erram, though, who topscored for the Elite with a double-double output of 19 points and 15 rebounds to go with a pair of assists and a steal.
Erram atoned for missing a couple of free throws with 1:18 to go and uncorked a layup off a pass from Walker to tie the count at 84-all. Magnolia had the chance to regain the lead but Rome dela Rosa's three-point attempt hit nothing but air.
That's when Walker took charge and sent the crowd into frenzy with the game-winning dunk. He had 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and the same number of steals in almost 43 minutes of play.
Mike Digregorio added 11 markers, none bigger than he layup he made after breezing through Reavis in transition play that trimmed the gap to two, 82-84, with 53.4 ticks left.
"At least the team is improving little by little. I keep on telling them to just continue to pound the rock," said Blackwater coach Bong Ramos.
Barroca paced Magnolia with 16 points, two rebounds, and two assists. PJ Simon added 12 markers, all of which he made in the first 24 minutes of action.
Curtis Kelly chipped in 12 markers, nine rebounds, two assists, three steals, and a pair of blocks but turned the ball over six times in foul-plagued match for the Hotshots.
Blackwater (86): Erram 19, Maliksi 16, Walker 11, Digregorio 11, Sumang 8, Zamar 8, Pinto 6, Al-Hussaini 5, Belo 2, Sena 0, Jose 0, Palma 0
Magnolia (84): Barroca 16, Kelly 12, Simon 12, Reavis 11, Jalalon 8, Brondial 7, Melton 6, dela Rosa 5, Lee 3, Herndon 2, Pascual 2, Ramos 0
Quarterscores: 19-27, 40-48, 69-61, 86-84
Allein Maliksi had 12 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the field at the half. But he hardly made an impact in the last two periods.
Magnolia import Curtis Kelly will reportedly be replaced by Justin Jackson soon.
Magnolia - vs Alaska on June 10 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
Blackwater - vs Rain or Shine on June 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum