Behind an all-around outing, the Blackwater Elite withstood the Columbian Dyip’s fourth quarter surge, 118-110, for their third consecutive win and the early leadership in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Sunday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Alex Stepheson, Ray Parks, and Mac Belo all joined hands in the Elite’s fiery end-game blitz. They finished off the Dyip, who knocked within a solitary point, 105-106, with 3:50 left to play after going down by 13 early in the fourth.
“The challenge was to get this win and remind the guys we have to take care of business from the get-go. I know for a fact that Columbian, if you slack against them, they’re gonna step on you,” said interim head coach Aris Dimaunagan.
“Congrats to our guys for not letting that happen and working hard throughout this weekend,” he added.
Stepheson led Blackwater’s well-balanced attack with 26 points, on top of 21 rebounds and seven blocks.
Parks was all across the board and finished with 23 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block. Belo was just a couple of rebounds short of a double-double, as he made 19 points and eight rebounds with four dimes.
Allein Maliksi fired 19 as well, while Roi Sumang chimed in 11 markers.
“I think we shared the wealth again pretty good today. We got 22 assists. Last time out we got 27 assists. I think the guys are really onto it, on sharing the basketball,” Dimaunahan said. “So congratulations again to our guys.”
Kyle Barone had 21 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists to lead Columbian, who are now off to a 0-3 start into the joust.
Rashawn McCarthy supplied 20 points and six assists, while CJ Perez made 17 points and seven rebounds. Glenn Khobuntin and Reden Celda chipped in 10 markers apiece on a combined 7-of-15 shooting from the field in the loss.
Blackwater will next play the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters on Friday, May 31. Meanwhile, Columbian will face off against another skidding team in the NLEX Road Warriors on Saturday, June 1. Both games are at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Blackwater 118 – Stepheson 26, Parks 23, Belo 19, Maliksi 19, Sumang 11, Digregorio 9, Tratter 5, Al-Hussaini 2, Javier 2, Alolino 2, Cortez 0, Sena 0, Banal 0, Dario 0.
Columbian 110 – Barone 21, McCarthy 20, Perez 17, Khobuntin 10, Celda 10, Camson 7, Cabrera 6, Escoto 6, Faundo 4, Calvo 4, Cahilig 3, Corpuz 2, Gabriel 0.
Quarterscores: 28-26, 57-54, 89-79, 118-110.