Blackwater Sports nearly suffered a meltdown but the cushion it posted in the first three quarters proved to be adequate for the Elite to snap Big Chill’s three-game winning streak with a 64-61 decision in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Blackwater Elite’s win over the Superchargers improved their win-loss record to 4-1 to hold second place behind unbeaten NLEX (4-0). More importantly, Blackwater Sports bolstered their campaign by beating a perennial contender for the postseason.
“It’s an eye-opener na kaya pala namin na magkaroon ng good showing sa isang title contender. This could turn positive for us,” said Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac.
But the Elite had to survive Big Chill’s charge in this game, nearly losing a 19-point lead in the fourth before squeezing with a victory.
“We had a good jump in the first three quarters but they made good defensive stops and we were allowing easy lay-ups,” Isaac said.
“We felt the pressure going into the final minutes so we have to do some corrections on how to win a good basketball game going into the last few minutes of the game. If we knew how to protect our big lead, Big Chill won’t have a shot on us,” he added.
Blackwater Sports enjoyed a sizeable lead with the Elite yielding only nine points to the Superchargers for a 53-37 lead after three quarters.
Paul Zamar knocked a three in Blackwater Sports’ opening possession to hold what appeared to be a safe 56-37 advantage in the first 30 seconds of the fourth.
Big Chill, however, was able to mount a comeback with Blackwater Sports making just two field goals after that. Mar Villahermosa’s lay-up on the break sliced the gap to one point, 62-61, with 1:17 on the clock.
With less than a minute to play, Tata Bautista missed a three-pointer and Blackwater Sports was called for a 24-second violation giving possession back to Big Chill. Keith Jensen, however, turned the ball over while dishing off to Jewel Ponferrada.
Big Chill had another chance but Villahermosa couldn’t convert again on a medium range jumper. Blackwater Sports recovered the ball and Mandani hit two free throws after a penalty foul for a three-point lead, 64-61, with 3.6 seconds on the clock.
Villahermosa’s three-pointer from the left corner was tightly guarded by Fortuna and he missed the shot as the buzzer sounded.
Big Chill slid to a 3-2 win-loss card. The defeat was the first since head coach Robert Sison took over for the team.
Nabong and Mandani led Blackwater SPorts with 12 points as they led a 12-2 wind-up for the Elite in the third period to grab a big lead. Zamar and Bautista added 10 points each.