Blackwater Elite's dominant third-quarter performance was enough to overtake NorthPort Batang Pier, 96-89, Monday on the second night of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup held at the Angeles University Foundation gym.
Blackwater outscored the Batang Pier 41-18 in the third to turn a 47-38 halftime deficit to a 79-65 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. They also shot the lights out in the quarter, nailing 62.5% of their field goals.
Don Trollano and Roi Sumang led the Elite in scoring, contributing 17 points each in coach Nash Racela's first game with the franchise, while Mac Belo added 16 points and 6 rebounds.
Racela saw the Sumang of old down the stretch after the former UE standout scored 17 points, and made some key stops in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.
"I said to him, 'You are capable of doing that. If you think you are open and you have a good shot, then go ahead and take it.'" said the former FEU Tamaraws tactician. "We know he's still adjusting, but he had great contributions tonight. We'll look to him as one of our leaders, one of our veterans in Blackwater," he added.
Sumang made one of the biggest shots of the game late in the fourth quarter, when he dusted off his defender and swished a floater to push the lead to six, 90-84, with 2:24 left.
He also picked off Kevin Ferrer's dribble, dove on the floor and tapped the ball to Ed Daquioag, whose unmolested layup with 29.2 ticks to go sealed the comeback win for Blackwater.
NorthPort held firm in the first half, opening the game with a 9-0 run led by Garvo Lanete's seven markers. The Elite then responded to trim the close the gap to four, 25-21, after the first.
In the second quarter, Blackwater was able to tie things up at 36 courtesy of Mike Tolomia's layup, but surrendered a 9-2 run to go behind 47-38 at the half.
"It was very obvious in the first half. If you would call it bullying, we were being bullied by Christian [Standhardinger], Kelly [Nabong] and Sean Anthony. They were getting offensive rebounds. And I think that was something that we should not accept as a team, so we came out with a lot more energy in the second half, a lot more intensity," recalled Racela.
His boys responded in the most resounding way possible, as they unleashed that big scoring run in the third period to claim that 14-point advantage heading to the the last 12 minutes.
The lead widened to its largest at 17, 82-65, courtesy of a triple from Belo to open the fourth. NorthPort answered back with a 19-6 run to bridge the gap to four, 88-84, with 4:29 left, but failed to go over the hump.
Don Trollano added 17 points and 10 rebounds before leaving the game with cramps.
On the other hand, Christian Standhardinger had all-around stats of 23 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, but coughed up the ball five times. Sean Anthony, meanwhile, added 22 points, 13 boards, and six dimes.
Blackwater (95) -- Sumang 17, Trollano 17, Belo 16, Daquioag 13, Tolomia 8, Magat 8, Desiderio 4, Canaleta 3, Salem 3, Dennison 3, Golla 2, Shaw 2, Dario 0, Escoto 0, Gabriel 0.
NorthPort (89) --Standhardinger 23, Anthony 22, Lanete 14, Elorde 7, Nabong 7, Taha 5, Manganti 3, Subido 3, Ferrer 3, Cruz 2, Grey 0, Revilla 0, Guinto 0.
Quarter Scores: 21-25, 38-47, 79-65, 95-89.
Blackwater shot poorly in the first half, only making 15 out of their 52 attempts for 28.8%.
Second overall pick Maurice Shaw only played 10 minutes and scored 2 points for Blackwater, while NorthPort rookies Sean Manganti and Renzo Subido each hit a three.
Blackwater vs Brgy. Ginebra on Oct. 15 at 6:45 p.m.
NorthPort vs Phoenix on Oct. 15 at 4 p.m.