Blackwater Bossing cancel break as they chase first win since 2020
Coach Ariel Vangaurdia has watched Blackwater wade in basketball’s backwater for so long that he knows one thing is for certain.
“We don’t deserve the holidays,” he told the Inquirer on his way out of Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday on the heels of yet another defeat, another rout, in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Loss No. 5—or 24, if you are viewing this from the historical perspective of the league’s longest and still intact losing streak—was pinned on the Bossing by an Alaska squad that refused to be perpetually attached to the running record as a footnote.
“It’s definitely a motivation … [W]e tried to make sure that that doesn’t happen to us,” said Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso, whose wards hammered out a 98-75 beatdown to stay out of Blackwater’s bid to end a slide that has been running for three conferences already.
“It’s always scary, whenever you play a team hungry for a win,” said Cariaso. “[A]nd for me, what we can control is how we defend them, how we approach ourselves mentally, and how we prepare. So we focused there, just bringing ourselves, bringing our A-game for tonight’s game.”
Maverick Ahanmisi finished with 17 points and eight rebounds and a pair of steals to help the Aces improve to a 3-2 record and snap a two-game skid.
Olu Ashaolu finished with 10 points before a calf problem forced him to sit the last eight minutes of the game.
By then, however, it was already lights out for the Bossing, who managed to lead by five late in the opening period.
And the prospects look darker for Blackwater when it resumes its chase for its first victory since 2020.
Import Jaylen Bond finished with just two points in what is shaping as his last game with the club. Also playing through a groin problem, the burly American is set to be replaced by Shawn Glover, who is flying in from Iceland.
Blackwater will need to pull Glover out of quarantine quick, get him to understand whatever system the team is running and then plunge the guy into a killer schedule that features: current leader NLEX, defending champion Barangay Ginebra and last conference’s championship protagonists Magnolia and TNT.
“We’re really going to practice tomorrow, get back on the 26th and work all the way to 31st,” Vanguardia said.
However, Glover is set to arrive Jan. 2, meaning he won’t be able to join the Bossing’s Yuletide boot camp.