PBA-bound Chua shines in Blackwater’s win over Boracay Rum
MANILA, Philippines — First round pick Justin Chua starred as Blackwater Sports won in its first game after edging Boracay Rum, 87-85, in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Monday at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Chua, who was tabbed by San Mig Coffee as the 10th overall selection Sunday night in the 2013 Rookie Draft, scored a team-best 15 points and had two blocks.
“It’s our first game and the advantage that we had was we already saw them play last Tuesday but it didn’t work out that way because maybe some of our players were too excited and we had to fall back on our veterans,” said Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac.
“He’s still in cloud nine after being drafted last night but still the same Justin Chua.”
The six-foot-four Chua showcased his feathery shooting touch with a crucial basket — a three-pointer from the top-of-the-key with the shot clock winding down — giving the Elite an 84-80 cushion with only 48.3 seconds remaining.
Chua though, fouled out with 1.7 ticks left after clipping Waves forward Mark Belo as the Far Eastern U slotman attempted a last-second three-point shot.
Unfortunately for Boracay Rum, Belo wasn’t able to tie the game at 86 after missing his first freebie.
Blackwater, the Foundation Cup champion, trailed, 59-66, early in the final frame before Isaac made the necessary adjustments at the defensive end.
“From man-to-man [defense] I adjusted to a 2-3 zone just to contain their one-on-one especially Banchero and it paid off. We got back into the game and held on during the crucial part of the game.”
The Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero finished with 14 points and nine assists but had five turnovers.
Apart from Chua, versatile forward Robby Celiz was also drafted.
And according to Isaac, Chua was already given an offer by the Mixers and Celiz will “most likely” head into that direction under Talk ‘N Text.
“This is maybe their last game with Blackwater. We’ll just have to get minutes from our other players to fill in their absence.”
“We just have to continue on our winning ways and continue practicing our good habits.”
Adamson swingman Jericho Cruz and University of Santo Tomas lengthy forward Kevin Ferrer added 14 points apiece for the Elite.
Pari Llagas notched 11 points and 10 rebounds off-the-bench as Chua was saddled by foul trouble.