Walker dunk lifts Blackwater over Magnolia for 1st win
Henry Walker struggled throughout the game but still made the big plays as Blackwater stunned shorthanded Magnolia, 86-84, for its first win in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Walker made a crucial steal and assist that led to the game-tying basket by JP Erram before attacking the rim for the game-winning dunk over Rafi Reavis all inside the final minute.
“There was confusion and it opened up the lane for Walker,” Blackwater coach Bong Ramos recalled of the final offensive play in Filipino. “When Walker got the ball, I knew [Magnolia] was going to be in trouble.”
Walker, who was also fouled by Reavis on the vicious slam with 3.4 seconds left but missed the bonus free throw, finished with only 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting from the field. He also had eight rebounds, four assists an four steals.
The Elite notched their first victory after starting the conference at 0-7 and stayed alive for a quarterfinals berth while the Hotshots, who played without Marc Pingris and Ian Sangalang due to injuries, slid to 3-3.
Blackwater also drew a big game from Erram, who finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
The Hotshots blew a 14-point lead they built in the second quarter and lost an 84-80 cushion with 1:46 remaining.
Barroca led Magnolia with 16 points while Jio Jalalon collected eight points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
But with a depleted frontline, the Hotshots failed to get enough production from import Curtis Kelly, who only had 12 points and nine rebounds with six turnovers.
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