MANILA, Philippines – Blackwater survived a late run by the Alaska Aces, 103-101, to secure the solo third place in the PBA Philippine Cup, Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Elite weathered a 22-point fourth quarter explosion by the Aces' Calvin Abueva and JV Casio to secure their fifth win in nine outings.
Roi Sumang was the unlikely hero who led Blackwater's counter-assault. He poured 10 of his 19 points in the payoff period.
"Going to the game -- pardon the language -- para kaming may regla. Mananalo kami, tapos matatalo." Elite's head coach Leo Isaac said. "All the players did their best. I guess we were able to matchup or even surpass the energy that Alaska has been showing in their past games."
The tactician also noted that the grit his team showed in the final period was emblematic of the mantra his been trying to inculcate into the team.
"Yun 'yung ineemphasize namin. If you give your 100 percent, you'd get good results," Isaac said. "We'll make good use of this win and boost the confidence [for the coming games]."
Abueva and Casio led the Aces in the scoring column with 23 points each. Their combined late-game performance was able to erase a 14-point Blackwater advantage, but it was not enough to put them ahead before final buzzer sounded.
The loss puts the 4-4 Alaska in a logjam with Phoenix and Ginebra at the 5th spot.
BLACKWATER 103 - Belo 21, Sumang 19, Buenafe 16, Dela Cruz 13, Aguilar 10, Sena 8, Cervantes 6, Miranda 4, Pinto 4, Ababou 2, Pascual 0, Gamalinda 0, Banal 0.
ALASKA 100 - Abueva 23, Casio 23, Manuel 13, Racal 9, Mendoza 7, Hontiveros 6, Exciminiano 6, Jazul 4, Cruz 4, Thoss 2, Pascual 2, Dela Cruz 1.
Quarterscores: 22-28, 45-49, 76-71, 103-100.