Cruz scores 31 as Blackwater fends off Derulo
MANILA, Philippines — Jericho Cruz knocked in 31 points as Blackwater Sports fought off Derulo Accelero, 94-80, in the 2014 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Tuesday at the Trinity University of Asia Gym in Quezon City.
Cruz, the Adamson University star, fired 22 of his points in the second half and unleashed 16 points in the third quarter alone to lead the reigning Foundation Cup titlist Elite to their sixth win against three losses.
“What’s important is that we got the victory whether it’s a good or bad win. We hope to be in good mental condition on Thursday,” said Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac, who is bracing for a tough game against defending champion NLEX.
The Elite got their groove in the final frame where they pulled away from just a precarious six-point lead.
A three-point play by backup guard Jed Manguera followed by a putback by Cruz gave Blackwater an 84-68 lead with only 3:52 left.
Raul Soyud had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Oilers, who dropped to 1-10.
Allan Mangahas also shone for the Elite with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.