Blackwater battles in clutch, escapes with win over Star. The Blackwater Elite made some key plays down the stretch as they outlasted the Star Hotshots, 100-98, in a tight 2016 Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup encounter on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Import Eric Dawson made a key basket with nine seconds remaining and JP Erram got a huge block as the Elite notched their first win of the conference.
Erram led Blackwater with 16 points and six rebounds while Dawson finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
Jerick Canada also scored 14, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 4-for-4 from three. Three other players – Carlo Lastimosa, Bam Gamalinda and Kyle Pascual – finished in double figures for the Elite.
Blackwater grabbed the advantage in the first quarter behind the outside sniping of guards Canada and Roi Sumang, who each made two triples in the opening period.
The Elite led, 22-17, after the first 12 minutes of the game.
Star finally got things going in the second quarter thanks to Ian Sangalang and Allein Maliksi, who led a 15-4 run for the Hotshots after the team went down by eight points.
PJ Simon capped the run with a three-pointer while Star import Marqus Blakely added a split from the free throw line to make it a three-point lead, 32-29, for Star.
With Erram and Mike Cortez doing solid work for Blackwater late in the period, though, the Elite were able to tie the game heading into the halftime break.
Star’s Blakely led all scorers with 10 points at the break while Erram had eight to pace Blackwater.
Sangalang took over the paint for the Hotshots in the third as he began to dominate on the offensive end. He scored nine big points in under six minutes, accounting for all but five of the team’s first 14 points of the period.
Blackwater guard Lastimosa strung together a couple of baskets later in the quarter to keep the Elite in front but Star managed to rattle off seven unanswered points to take a 75-73 lead with 27 seconds remaining in the third.
A putback by Gamalinda in the dying seconds ensured that the game would enter the fourth with the teams knotted up, 75-apiece.
Star caught a bad break early in the fourth when Blakely was whistled for his fifth personal foul while setting an illegal pick on offense. As play moved to the other end, the Hotshots import was caught with another foul while jostling with Pascual and he was forced to call it a night with over 10 minutes still left to play in the game.
Maliksi made sure the Hotshots would stay in it as he made back-to-back three-pointers that kept the game close in the fourth. Mark Barroca got into the act, knocking down a trey of his own to tie the game, 86-apiece.
Canada immediately answered with a triple and Cortez made a nice move towards the basket as Blackwater took a five-point lead, 91-86. But despite the Elite’s best efforts, the Hotshots refused to go away as James Yap and Maliksi again knocked down treys as the game was deadlocked again at 93-all.
Lastimosa quickly got a bucket for Blackwater on the other end, though, and the Elite managed to get a crucial stop. Cortez then attempted to attack the hoop but was blocked, although Dawson cleaned up with an offensive board and a putback, 97-93.
Barroca then set Sangalang up for an easy basket inside and Maliksi made a terrific play, running downcourt against three defenders in transition and pulling up for an incredible three-pointer that gave Star a 98-97 advantage with 14 seconds remaining.
But Blackwater created a great look for Dawson underneath off an inbounds play to reclaim the lead, 99-98, and Erram made a key defensive play, swatting Maliksi on a jumper to send possession back the other way.
The Final Scores Result:
BLACKWATER 100 – Erram 16, Canada 14, Dawson 14, Lastimosa 12, Gamalinda 10, Pascual 10, Cortez 9, Sumang 6, Cervantes 5, Melano 4, Dela Cruz 0, Reyes 0, Sena 0, Vosotros 0.
STAR 98 – Maliksi 20, Sangalang 18, Blakely 12, Pingris 12, Simon 9, Barroca 8, Yap 8, Mallari 5, Garcia 4, Pascual 2, Brondial 0, Reavis 0.
Quarters: 22-17, 42-42, 75-75, 100-98