The Blackwater Elite played merciless basketball right from the get-go as they tore a new-look Kia Picanto to shreds, 118-97, and set a handful of franchise records, Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Elite — who are coming off a streak-busting defeat to TNT Katropa from last Wednesday — improved their card to 4-4. The Picanto, on the other hand, absorbed yet another humiliating loss and are now 0-8 at the bottom of the standings.
“We noticed that we lacked energy against Talk N Text, so the word ‘energy’ was written on the white board. It was what we needed this game, and true enough, we had a lot of energy,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac. “We’re glad we were able to score this win. We needed this win to go 4-4 before going to our final three games.”
Henry Walker led the Elite’s charge with 25 points on four treys, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Mike Di Gregorio and JP Erram scored 16 points apiece, with the latter adding 14 rebounds to post yet another double-double.
The game was never in doubt for Blackwater right from the start, and they had already set franchise records in the game’s first 24 minutes. They scored the most points in a quarter at 40 in the first, and most points in a half at 70.
It was then an onslaught the rest of the way, leaving the Picanto reeling to the ground. The men in white even led by as much as 49, 86-37, after a Raphael Banal basket with less than nine minutes to go just in the third canto.
Niño Cañaleta supplied 13 markers for Blackwater, while rookie Raphael Banal had his finest performance this season with a career-high 12 points.
The loss was a rude welcome for Kia’s new reinforcement Geron Johnson, who led the Picanto with 28 points which were negated by nine turnovers. Philip Paniamogan and Mark Yee supplied 17 and 14 points, respectively.
The victory was a shooting display for Blackwater, as they nailed a franchise-best 19 three-pointers, eclipsing their previous record of 17 triples made versus the NLEX Road Warriors last August 18.
Blackwater’s new acquisitions Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo, whom they acquired yesterday from the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in exchange for Arth Dela Cruz and Raymond Aguilar, did not see action versus the Picanto.
“Ellis, hindi pa. Si Dave Marcelo nandiyan nag-report na, he watched the game on the sidelines,” said Isaac of his two new players. “Hopefully we’ll have them in our sessions starting Monday, four days before we play Ginebra so maganda umpisa for Ellis and Marcelo.”
Blackwater will face a tall order in Ginebra next Friday, September 8, 7:00 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena, while it will be a battle of winless teams as Kia will take on the Alaska Aces on September 10, Sunday, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Blackwater 118 – Walker 25, DiGregorio 16, Erram 16, Canaleta 13, Banal 12, Sumang 9, Pinto 8, Gamalinda 7, Belo 6, Pascual 4, Sena 2, Cruz 0, Miranda 0.
Kia 97 – Johnson 28, Paniamogan 17, Yee 14, Corpuz 11, Khobuntin 8, Elorde 5, Celda 4, Salva 4, Deutchman 3, Revilla 2, Camson 1, Caperal 0, Jaime 0, Nimes 0, Ballesteros 0.
Quarterscores: 40-21, 70-31, 96-62, 118-97.