ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – Blackwater had enough gas left in the tank to fend off a gallant Rain or Shine comeback and hack out a 98-92 win in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Center here on Sunday, June 2.
The Elite drained crucial free throws down the stretch to regain their winning ways and hike their record to 4-1 as the Elasto Painters remained winless at 0-2 after failing to complete their comeback from 18 points down.
Allein Maliksi led Blackwater in scoring with 19 points, while Mike Digregrio chipped in 16 points and 6 rebounds all the while showing resiliency in the clutch by scoring the last 4 points – all from the stripe.
James Yap managed to narrow the gap for Rain or Shine to just 4 points, 92-96, with 10 seconds left before Digregrio sealed the win for his side by icing his foul shots.
Ray Parks made his presence felt in the win with 16 points and 2 steals, while Alex Stepheson still finished with 13 points and 20 rebounds despite going 3-of-11 from the line.
Blackwater looked like it was in for the easy win as it led 76-58 late in the 3rd quarter until Rain or Shine slowly but surely chiseled away at its deficit in the final frame.
However, the Elasto Painters only managed to get within single digit in the final frame with two minutes left and ran out of time to complete the fightback.
Denzel Bowles put up 26 points and 6 rebounds in the loss, Yap had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Ed Daquioag and Mark Borboran added 10 points apiece.
Blackwater 98 - Maliksi 19, Digregorio 16, Parks 16, Stepheson 13, Sumang 11, Belo 7, Tratter 4, Al-Hussaini 3, Banal 3, Sena 2, Alolino 2, Desiderio 2, Cortez 0.
Rain or Shine 92 -owles 27, Yap 15, Borboran 10, Daquioag 10, Rosales 8, Norwood 7, Belga 5, Mocon 4, Nambatac 1, Ponferada 0,
Quarters: 241-17, 50-40, 76-60, 98-92.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.