Surging Blackwater remains perfect, downs Columbian
MANILA, Philippines—Blackwater continued its perfect run early in the conference after turning back Columbian, 118-110, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elite moved to solo first in the standings with a 3-0 record with TNT and NorthPort tied in second at 2-0.
Alexander Stepheson came up big for the Elite, putting up 26 points, 21 rebounds, and seven blocks while this year’s second overall pick Bobby Ray Parks Jr. had 23 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
The win, however, did not come easy for the Elite with the Dyip able to stay in the thick of the fight.
Blackwater started the final quarter up, 92-79, but only for Columbian to chip away at the deficit with a furious 12-2 run to get to as close as two, 94-92, after CJ Perez, the top overall pick, converted on his two free throws at the 8:11 mark.
Kyle Barone then, made it a one-point game, 106-105, with a three-pointer with 3:52 remaining.
Stepheson, however, restored order as he scored five unanswered for the Elite to give them a 111-105 lead with 1:37 left to play while Mac Belo nailed the dagger triple with 46 seconds remaining.
Blackwater head coach Aris Dimaunahan commended his team’s ball movement but he knows the Elite can still improve as the conference goes on.
“I think we started the wealth again today, we got 22 assists and last time out we got 27,” said Dimaunahan. “I think the guys are really into sharing the basketball.”
“One of my personal concerns is, still, execution. We know we got three wins but the room for improvement is still high, still huge. As we go along, we’ll improve on it.”
Belo and Maliksi also had large contributions for Blackwater’s offense with 19 points apiece while combining for 13 rebounds.
Barone finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Dyip while Rashawn McCarthy had 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists.