Despite slim chances, Blackwater not bowing out just yet
Blackwater coach Bong Ramos felt relieved after his team finally broke through for its first win in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
But despite that, Ramos already appeared resigned to the idea that the Elite are no longer in play for a playoff spot after digging themselves a deep hole with seven straight losses to open the conference.
“I know we’re now uninvited guests but I believe we’re still here and unlike others, we’re not here to just be on vacation,” Ramos told reporters in Filipino after a 86-84 squeaker over Magnolia on Wednesday.
JP Erram, import Henry Walker and the rest of the Elite, however, aren’t planning to coast through their last three games.
“We’re going to enjoy this win but we still have games left to play, our conference isn’t over yet,” Erram said in Filipino. As players, our goal is to win every game even though, we don’t have any chance [to make the playoffs]. We just have to push each other to win because that’s the goal that we set before the conference began.”
“We’re going to win, we’re gonna win that’s how we’re approaching it. That’s the only way we can,” Walker told reporters. “We’re building for the next conference but at the same time, I don’t come over here to lose. I don’t have that in my body.”
Walker, who replaced Jarrid Famous six games into the conference, showed his winning attitude as he made big plays on both ends of the floor inside the final minute, including the game-winning dunk over Hotshots big man Rafi Reavis with 3.4 seconds left.
“I couldn’t leave it to chance. I don’t really dunk anymore, but for the game, I didn’t want it to get it blocked and my daughter’s watching gotta put it down for the win,” Walker said.
At 1-7, Blackwater still has a mathematical chance to make a late quarterfinals run although, it no longer has control of its own fate that sweeping its remaining games still won’t secure them a spot in the last eight.
It also doesn’t help that the Elite’s final three games will be against Rain or Shine, Meralco, and San Miguel Beer.
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