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Henry Walker comes through against Phoenix as Blackwater ends six-game slide



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Henry Walker comes through against Phoenix as Blackwater ends six-game slide Basketball News PBA  RJ Jazul Phoenix Fuel Masters PBA Season 42 Mike DiGregorio Mark Borboran Leo Isaac Henry Walker Eugene Phelps Blackwater Elite Ariel Vanguardia 2017 PBA Governors Cup

Former Alaska Aces import Henry Walker brought immediate impact to the Blackwater Elite, nailing huge buckets down the stretch to help his side score their first win in the 2017 Governor’s Cup at Phoenix Fuel Masters’ expense, 92-86, Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s good to be back here sa press room after so many games of being on the losing end,” said Elite head coach Leo Isaac, as his side improved to 1-3 and broke a six-game skid that traced back from the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup. “Finally we were able to get the win.”

The returning Walker, who had even cramped up early in the final frame after a lay-up attempt, perfectly capped off his PBA return with 32 points on 26 attempts alongside 15 rebounds and five assists. However, he committed seven turnovers.

“Special thanks to our import Henry Walker, who gave inspiration to everybody to come out as winners,” lauded Isaac of Walker, who replaced Trevis Simpson. “He was able to produce.”

After the Fuel Masters knocked within just a point, 84-83, after an RJ Jazul triple with 3:09 to go in the final frame, Walker’s magic started to work as he nailed a lay-up to widen the Elite’s lead, 86-83, with 2:19 left.

From there, an exchange of baskets between him and Eugene Phelps took place. But Walker had the last laugh, as Phelps’ lay-up off a power move with less than 10 ticks left to play clanged off the rim’s back iron.

Walker was there underneath, and grabbed the miss. Phoenix had no choice but to foul him, and Walker obliged as he calmly sank both of his charities, 90-86, to make it harder for the Fuel Masters to reach.

Point guard Mike DiGregorio was also Blackwater’s star in the victory, scoring a career-high 28 points, including the game’s final charities in the last six seconds, on 47 percent shooting alongside three rebounds.

Phoenix, who have dropped their third straight game after starting 2-0 in the conference, were led by Phelps with 13 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks. Jazul also scored 13, while Mark Borboran had 12 points, all from triples.

Blackwater lost the rebounding battle, 42-53, but their defense forced Phoenix to commit 23 turnovers and converted it to 21 points.

Both teams’ next matches will be on August 18, Friday, still at the Big Dome. Phoenix will take on the Meralco Bolts at 4:15 PM, and Blackwater will face the NLEX Road Warriors at 7:00 PM.

The Scores:

Blackwater 92 – Walker 32, Digregorio 28, Gamalinda 9, Canaleta 5, Aguilar 5, Erram 4, Cruz 3, Miranda 3, Sumang 3, Belo 0, Banal 0, Cervantes 0, Sena 0, Pascual 0.

Phoenix 86 – Phelps 13, Jazul 13, Borboran 12, W. Wilson 11, Alolino 10, Baguio 8, Intal 8, Eriobu 7, Dehesa 2, Kramer 2, Lanete 0, J. Wilson 0.

Quarterscores: 23-32, 51-47, 66-66, 92-86.