PBA: Blackwater gets back at Rain or Shine, ties quarterfinals series
MANILA, Philippines–Blackwater mounted a good start and then put together an even better finish to score a 100-96 victory over tough-as-nails Rain or Shine, leveling their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series a game apiece Tuesday night at Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The Elite got the goods from their one-two punch of import Greg Smith and freshman Ray Parks Jr., who scored 31 and 28 points, respectively, in a stand that gave the young club a shot at further improving an already impressive midseason campaign.
“They refused to lose. They didn’t want to take a vacation yet—a commitment we all shared,” said coach Aris Dimaunahan, whose charges move closer to a franchise-first semifinal berth which they look to take on Thursday, also at the Big Dome.
The Elasto Painters leaned on Javee Mocon’s 25 points and Mark Borboran’s 13 off a pinpoint shooting night for stability.
Their presence, though, was barely felt when Smith and Mac Belo tightened the noose down the stretch. The former plucked 18 boards while the latter finished with 14 points capping Blackwater’s gritty stand against a better-experienced foe.
“We still have to work doubly hard because we know that in the PBA, closing out teams is the hardest thing to do,” said Dimaunahan, while adding that the team vastly learned from its series-opening loss.
The victory extends the quarterfinal series to another game, leaving only Barangay Ginebra as the lone team to have secured a Final Four slot by night’s end