Blackwater exits with win over Meralco
Blackwater, out of contention since last week, closed out its PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign on a winning note Wednesday night after taking down undermanned Meralco, 84-72, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Marcus Douthit scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had two blocks as the Elite, while finishing last for the second straight conference, wound up with a far better 3-8 record after a 0-11 effort in the Philippine Cup.
JP Erram finished with a career-high 21 points and eight rebounds before fouling out, giving great support to Douthit, the naturalized player of the Gilas Pilipinas program whom Blackwater is interested in signing again for the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
“Going into this game, regardless of being eliminated (earlier), it was all about gaining experience and the players giving their 100 percent,” coach Leo Isaac told reporters.
Reil Cervantes, acquired in a trade with fellow newcomer KIA Motors a few days ago, immediately made an impact and scored 13 points to help the Blackwater cause.
Jared Dillinger paced the Bolts with 15 points as Meralco played without bruiser Cliff Hodge for the second straight game while sending import Josh Davis through the paces in a 35-minute stint to get ready for the playoffs.
The Bolts closed out with a 6-5 card and, as the No. 5 seeds, will battle sister squad, No. 4 NLEX, in a best-of-three quarterfinal series starting tomorrow also at the Big Dome.
Top-ranked Rain or Shine and No. 2 Talk ‘N Text are both awaiting quarterfinal foes that they will have to beat just once to advance to the Final Four.
The final playoff qualifier and rankings will be known after the Barangay Ginebra-Alaska game going on at press time.
BLACKWATER 84—Douthit 27, Erram 21, Cervantes 13, Heruela 7, Acuna 6, Bulawan 5, Gamalinda 3, Laure 2, Timberlake 0, Reyes 0, Golla 0.
MERALCO 72—Dillinger 15, Anthony 13, Cortez 13, Davis 11, Wilson 7, Ferriols 5, Caram 3, Reyes 2, David 2, Buenafe 1, Ildefonso 0, Sena 0, Hugnatan 0, Macapagal 0.
Quarters: 26-23, 50-40, 66-46, 84-72
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