PBA: With rare start, Bossing seek end to being league backwater

PBA: With rare start, Blackwater see end to being league backwater

/ 05:20 AM March 03, 2024

Troy Rosario Blackwater PBA

Blackwater forward Troy Rosario during a game against TNT in the PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

Jeffrey Cariaso is hoping that the rare 2-0 start of the usually-underachieving Blackwater side in the PBA Philippine Cup would translate into something promising down the road.

He also doesn’t see this unexpected win-loss record at the expense of two traditional contenders—the Bossing beat TNT, 87-76, on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum—as a reason to be content on what has already worked for at this early stage of the tournament.


“We are very, I guess, practical in how we view things,” Cariaso said. “We know we have to be at the top of our game, game in and game out, to beat every team in the PBA because every team has improved.”


SCHEDULE: 2024 PBA Philippine Cup

The upset of the Tropang Giga before another low turnout at the Big Dome saw the Bossing overcome the early loss of Rey Nambatac to a sprained ankle with a collective effort led by Troy Rosario. That effort resulted in the first time since the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup that Blackwater started a conference 2-0.

That campaign saw Blackwater, then with Ray Parks Jr., make the quarterfinals before being shown at the door by Nambatac and Rain or Shine.

But early success is not an assurance of eventually playing beyond the eliminations. And even so, moral victories won’t do much for the Bossing.

Marketing, leadership

James Yap PBA Philippine Cup.

James Yap debuts with Blackwater Bossing in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

James Yap, the two-time Most Valuable Player who was signed by Blackwater management for both marketing and leadership purposes, spoke of the benefits of making deep runs on a consistent basis after the team’s upset of Meralco three days ago in Antipolo City.

“That’s where the team will be known, by making the semis or finals,” Yap said following that 96-93 win.


That’s also why Yap’s addition, regardless of his eroding abilities and playing time, is so valuable for the predominantly young Blackwater roster.

READ: PBA: James Yap opens his Blackwater era with a victory

“Guys like him who share what it takes to win and take our play to the next level, giving advice, even small advice, to players is very crucial for us because we don’t have that,” Cariaso said. “And if you want to have a winning culture, you got to have guys who know how to win.”

Blackwater’s next match will be against Converge on Wednesday, and the Bossing are hoping to have Nambatac available after the star transferee got hurt five minutes into the contest when he stepped on the foot of TNT’s Barkley Ebona and rolled his ankle.

Rosario put up 20 points and six rebounds at the expense of his former team, with RK Ilagan, rookies Christian David and James Kwekuteye and Bradwyn Guinto all delivering for the Bossing.

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It was a frustrating afternoon for TNT, which got 21 points from Calvin Oftana but fell to an even 1-1 slate.

TAGS: Bossing, PBA, TNT

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