PBA: Vanguardia ‘feels’ last season’s Blackwater in Terrafirma slide
MANILA, Philippines–Blackwater rediscovered its winning form and more on Wednesday night after dealing Terrafirma a 93-86 loss in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Bossing, once the league’s whipping boys, held off the Dyip at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, at the same time was finally able to manufacture something that they have been lacking this conference in the past five games.
“I think we did a good job with our poise. Luckily,” coach Ariel Vanguardia said in Filipino shortly after the contest that had his charges go .500 in the tournament.
“If their run happened in the fourth quarter, maybe we wouldn’t have been able to pull through,” he added.
Cameron Krutwig had 29 points and 24 rebounds, while Baser Amer chipped in 21 more in the scoring effort to help the club rise to 3-3.
“Holding on to that lead, we had a 14-point lead in the third quarter. [We] kind of let it slip away [but] we finally showed toughness and grit,” the Bossing’s American import said.
As Blackwater examined the commendable things it did to prevail. Vanguardia can’t help but see his club in Terrafirma, which has now lost 21 straight.
“We’ve been in that situation,” he said. “It’s the same situation [for us] last year. We were hungry for a victory and we were playing well. We just can’t get over the hump.”
“We know that all too well: To be working hard, practicing hard, and coming with a game plan and being well prepared. Now it’s the reverse,” he added.
Terrafirma is now eight losses shy of trying Blackwater’s notorious slump, which ended against Magnolia during the Governors’ Cup last March.
And just like his charges, Vanguardia believes Terrafirma is also capable of arresting its spiral.
“I expect them to [overcome it]. I know what they’re going through. We got through that. That only makes them a dangerous team,” he said.
“All of their games were close ones. And I really feel our last year through them,” he added.