PBA: Zamar’s clutch three lifts Blackwater past Meralco
Paul Zamar hit a triple with 7.9 seconds left on Friday night that sealed a come-from-behind win by Blackwater over Meralco, 94-91, which put the Elite back on track in the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But more than that, coach Bong Ramos is seeing something that is a cause for more elation.
“The players are developing character and I just hope that we continue to do that,” Ramos said after the Elite climbed to a momentary tie for the lead at 5-1 by roaring back from 10 points down in the final seven minutes. “It was a great bounce back, a great come-from-behind win for us.”
Ramos pushed all the right buttons when the chips were down and put all the right people on the floor when winning time came, with Mac Belo also hitting a triple and Zamar capping off their whirlwind windup with one of his own that doomed the Bolts to their fourth straight loss.
“I had to decide on whether to (play) Mike DiGregorio (the team’s starting point guard) or Zamar (for the stretch), and I chose Zamar,” Ramos said after turning out to be a genius with Zamar also smothering a key layup attempt by Anjo Caram just a few seconds before his game-winning triple.
“I prayed when I made that decision. To God be the glory,” Ramos went on, pointing up for all the reporters to see. “Mike is good. But today, I couldn’t get anything from him. He was trying his best. He just couldn’t get his range.
“I asked guidance from the Lord, that’s why I was able to choose Zamar.”
Meralco thus dropped to 1-4 overall and inched closer to being on the bubble, and the Bolts would need to string up wins pretty quick if they want to fan hopes of making it to the Finals of the season-ending conference for the third straight year and finally win it all.
“What’s good (with this win) is that we know we can bounce back (from a defeat and being 10 points down in the fourth quarter),” Ramos went on. “To me that’s development of their character.”
The Elite will just have a day’s rest before returning to action, colliding with Rain or Shine—another formidable foe—for what could be a berth in the playoffs.
“In my heart, I know we have a chance to win every game, even though I know that all of our opponents are stronger than us,” he said.
Import Henry Walker had 24 points and 14 rebounds and was the one who pumped life back into the Elite when the Meralco barrage came in the fourth period. Belo finished with 14 points and Zamar 13.
Allen Durham paced the Bolts with 32 points, 21 rebounds and six assists but only Baser Amer and Ken Bono were able to back him up with twin digit scoring.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.