PBA: Blackwater starts in acid test against Bolick, NLEX

PBA: Blackwater starts in acid test against Bolick, NLEX

/ 05:25 AM March 13, 2024

Blackwater Jeffrey Cariaso PBA

Blackwater coach Jeffrey Cariaso in the PBA Philippine Cup. -PBA IMAGES

Blackwater, the surprise early PBA Philippine Cup leader, hopes to extend its winning ways on Wednesday when it tackles NLEX as the Bossing try to continue wriggling free from their ignominious tag brought by years and years of inferiority.

And standing in their way at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City are the Road Warriors, another streaking crew looking to pocket one more win before going on a break for a tough stretch where they battle the league’s traditional powerhouses.

“We know how quick things could turn so we’re just going to keep working hard,” said Blackwater coach Jeff Cariaso, who will also have a chance to match the franchise’s best 4-0 start set six years ago.


SCHEDULE: 2024 PBA Philippine Cup

Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m., with Cariaso stacking the team’s optimism upon hard work, an approach that has so far paid dividends. The team’s heroes include Troy Rosario, to new pickup Rey Nambatac, all the way to the team’s second overall pick, Christian David, who have all come through for their perfect start.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us. They have an improved lineup,” Road Warriors coach Frankie Lim said. “After (the game) we’ll have like a three-week break, and then after that, we play the big teams.

“It will be nice to have momentum heading into that schedule. I think a win over Blackwater will help us do that. And of course, it would be better to rejoice for three weeks,” he said with a chuckle. “If we lose, then we’ll be spending those weeks wondering why.”

READ: PBA: Cariaso says replica of Blackwater best start ‘nothing to be boastful for’


Meanwhile, Terrafirma tackles Phoenix in the evening duel, looking to pick itself up after a sorry loss to TNT last week.

Open secret

Robert Bolick 46 points NLEX PBA

NLEX guard Robert Bolick in the PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

The Dyip, another perennial doormat that broke out of the gates hard, looked on the way to joining Blackwater at the top of the standings until it faded late against the battle-hardened Tropang Giga, who got quality minutes from Henry Galinato.


Lim is making it no secret that he is pinning the team’s hopes on Robert Bolick, the crafty guard the Road Warriors reeled in after the last Commissioner’s Cup.

READ: PBA: As fatherhood beckons, Robert Bolick shifts to higher gear

“As long as Bolick’s there, we’ll be fine,” he said of his guard, who was also hailed by the PBA Press Corps as its Player of the Week.

But it would be interesting to see how the Fuel Masters, one of the feel-good stories of the previous tournament, would apply its adjustments after dropping its first two games here.

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“The second half schedule is crucial. We’ll be facing contenders [once we get back from the break],” Bolick said, referring to Magnolia and TNT. “And then we’ll have Phoenix and Rain or Shine.

TAGS: Blackwater Bossing, NLEX Road Warriors

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