MANILA, Philippines – Greg Smith redeemed himself to help Blackwater sneak past Rain or Shine, 100-96, and remain alive in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals at the Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday, July 23.
Smith, who shot 2-of-11 from the field in their 80-83 loss two days ago, delivered 31 points and 18 rebounds as the Elite dragged the Elasto Painters to a sudden death match in the best-of-three affair.
With Rain or Shine behind by just one possession in the final minute, the former NBA player drained a fallaway jumper over Carl Montgomery to give Blackwater a 97-93 advantage.
Smith then padded their lead to 5 points by splitting his free throws as the Elasto Painters failed to replicate their magical comeback in Game 1.
Ray Parks backstopped Smith with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals before fouling out late, while Mac Belo and Mike Digregorio chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Elite.
Young guns Javee Mocon and Jayjay Alejandro notched new career highs of 25 and 12 points, respectively, but Rain or Shine just could not sweep the series in order to advance to the semifinals.
Beau Belga had 13 points and 7 rebounds, Mark Borborad chimed in 13 points, while Kris Rosales added 10 points and 5 assists in the loss.
The do-or-die duel will be staged on Thursday, July 25, at the same venue.
Blackwater 100 - Smith 31, Parks 28, Belo 14, Digregorio 13, Sena 4, Maliksi 3, Javier 3, Desiderio 2, Cortez 2, Sumang 0, Al-Hussaini 0.
Rain or Shine 96 - Mocon 25, Borboran 13, Belga 13, Alejandro 12, Montgomery 11, Rosales 10, Nambatac 9, Ponferada 2, Onwubere 1, Norwood 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 38-35, 68-64, 100-96.
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.