By JONAS TERRADO
Games Wednesday (Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
4:15 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Alaska
7 p.m. – Phoenix vs San Miguel
Blackwater leaned on its torrid outside shooting before holding off GlobalPort’s late rally, 118-107, last night to complete the quarterfinal cast in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Elite made 15 threes that allowed them to create a 21-point lead in the third, but had to see off the Batang Pier’s stubborn attempts in the homestretch to secure the franchise’s second playoff berth since making its debut in 2014.
Allein Maliksi, who turns 30 today, fired 22 points in his first game since being traded from the Star Hotshots last week while Roi Sumang and Mike DiGregorio combined for nine threes for 21 and 16 points respectively for Blackwater, which improved to an even 5-5 slate.
GlobalPort, which lost Terrence Romeo to ejection in the second quarter, tied Alaska at 3-7 after its fourth consecutive loss.
Import Henry Walker flirted with a triple-double before finishing with 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists while adding five steals and five blocks, showing again why he was the main reason for the Elite’s impressive turnaround.
Described by coach Leo Isaac as “Mr. Inspiration”, Wright came in after replacing the injured Trevis Simpson and led the Elite out of a 0-3 start to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 Philippine Cup.
Walker had a dust-up with Romeo, 5:01 left in the second quarter, resulting in the latter’s ejection for throwing the ball at the Elite reinforcement. Romeo claimed he was upset with the way Walker defended him as he drove to the lane.
GlobalPort fell behind 90-69 on Mac Belo’s basket with 3:07 in the third, but inched its way back to pull within six, 111-105, on Sean Anthony’s tip-in less than two minutes to go.
Walker and Stanley Pringle traded baskets before JP Erram scored a baseline shot off a broken play to make it 115-107 for the Elite with 1:20 remaining. Blackwater then forced GlobalPort to miss its final three shots to seal the victory.
BLACKWATER 118 – Maliksi 22, Sumang 21, Walker 19, DiGregorio 16, Marcelo 13, Erram 11, Belo 8, Pinto 8, Canaleta 0, Cruz 0.
GLOBALPORT 107 – Holloway 28, Pringle 27, Romeo 13, Baracael 11, Anthony 8, Guinto 6, Cortez 6, Cardona 4, Arana 4, Grey 0, Hubalde 0.
Quarters: 31-29; 62-50; 92-77; 118-107.
TNT 104 – Rice Jr. 43, Castro 12, Pogoy 12, Rosario 12, Williams 8, Semerad 7, Reyes 6, Tautuaa 4, Lingganay 0, Carey 0.
STAR 99 – Acox 18, Lee 17, Sangalang 17, Jalalon 13, Ramos 11, Pingris 8, Reavis 6, Dela Rosa 4, Barroca 3, Melton 2, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0.
Quarters: 27-22, 51-45, 89-75, 104-99.
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