It’s Blackwater

September 20, 2018

FOR A while, Blackwater couldn’t do anything right.

But when push came  to shove, the Elite had all the answers.

Led by NBA veteran Henry Walker  and  John Pinto, the  Elite battled  back from  the  depth  of an early  18-point  deficit to escape with  a  hard-earned  113-111 win over NorthPort in  the  PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Walker finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds while Pinto  added  eight points, seven rebounds and a game-high 13 assists in  leading Blackwater to a a share of the top spot with defending champion Barangay Ginebra.

“It’s a hard-earned  win,” said  Blackwater coach Bong Ramos. “But it’s a  test of character for the team. They really wanted to get that third win tonight.” 

Blackwater’s 3-0 start  was also the best in  franchise history.

But it did not come easy.

Walker and Pinto delivered the  dagger three-point shots that completely turned the  game  around for Blackwater.

Walker’s fifth triple for the night shattered the game’s last deadlock at 99-all and put Blackwater ahead  for good, 102-99 with 3:58 remaining.

The biggest one, however, came from Pinto, whose three-pointer with  31 seconds left gave the Elite a 111-105 lead after Stanley Pringle’s floating jumper made it 105-108.

For NorthPort and  coach Pido Jarencio,  the loss was  another bitter  pill to shallow.

The  Batang Pier led 53-35, but  they  couldn’t close  the game out   and  dropped to 0-5 win-loss despite  another monster  31-point, 17-rebound   effort  of import Rashad Woods.

Pringle, who played  his second game with the Batang Pier after a  stint with  the  PBA-backed Philippine team in the Asian Games  and the  FIBA 2019 World Cup  qualifiers, added 18  points, while   Sean Anthony, who also  returned to the  line-up  after a   brief  absence  due  to injury, had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Woods opened the game with a triple and Pringle had seven straight  points as the Batang Pier raced to   39-23 lead after the first period.

But the  Elite finally hit their strides and outscored the Batang Pier,   33-20, in the seocnd quarter , to  to  make  the game close and interesting.

The  scores:

Blackwater (113) -- Walker 24, DiGregorio 19, Erram 19, Belo 13, Sumang 9, Pinto 8, Zamar 6, Palma 4, Javier 4, Al-Hussaini 3, Maliksi 2, Jose 2.

NorthPort (111) --  Woods 31, Pringle 18, Anthony 13, Elorde 12, Araña 9, Tautuaa 8, Taha 6, Grey 5, Guinto 4, Fortuna 3, Espinas 2, Gabayni 0.

Quarterscores: 23-39, 56-59, 79-87, 113-111.

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