Blackwater’s Rabeh Al-Hussaini finds himself in heavy traffic, doubled by Columbian players Jeepy Faundo, left, and Roider Cabrera. Looking on is Jackson Corpuz.
Jun Mendoza
Rayray Parks, Elite make it three in a row
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - May 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Blackwater continued to roll, taking Columbian Dyip as its third victim in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, 118-110, to snatch the solo lead last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alex Stepheson provided a solid presence in the paint while Rayray Parks, Allein Maliksi, Roi Sumang and Mac Belo stepped up big time as the Elite made it three in a row following a pair of overtime victories over Meralco and defending champion Barangay Ginebra.

Stepheson posted his third straight 20-20 performance, banging in 26 points and 21 rebounds to go with seven blocks, capping his heroics with five straight points to give the Elite a 111-105 cushion going to the last 1:34.

Rookie Parks had 23 markers, five boards and two assists to backstop their import while Maliksi chipped in 19 spiked by five triples, doing the most damage in the second quarter where Blackwater overturned a seven-point deficit and wrested a three-point margin.

Belo also had 19 while Sumang accounted for 11, helping the squad pull away with his eight-point outing in the penultimate period.

Kyle Barone (21) and Rashawn McCarthy (21) led the Dyip, who fell to 0-3.

Virtually silent in the initial go of action Stepheson came alive after the restart and joined hands with Sumang in a searing third-quarter assault that enabled the Elite to seize the first double-digit spread of the ballgame at 89-79. 

Stepheson asserted himself inside the paint, powering his way to the basket and making a lot of blocks while Sumang drilled in back-to-back triples to end the penultimate period.

The two sides engaged in a tight contest in the first 24 minutes, with no one enjoying a lead exceeding seven points.

In the nightcap, defending champion Barangay Ginebra showcased its no-quit spirit in hacking out a come-from-behind 110-95 win over Meralco to improve to an even 1-1 win-loss card. The Bolts slipped to 1-2.

After trailing by as many as 15 in the early goings, the Gin Kings regrouped and unleashed a massive outburst in the second half to get on track after opening their title-retention bid on a losing note, 107-108 in overtime to Blackwater.

The scores

First Game

Blackwater 118 – Stepheson 26, Parks 23, Belo 19, Maliksi 19, Sumang 11, Digregorio 9, Tratter 5, Alolino 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Javier 2, Banal 0, Dario 0, Sena 0.

Columbian 110 – Barone 21, McCarthy 20, Perez 17, Celda 10, Khobuntin 10, Camson 7, Cabrera 6, Escoto 6, Calvo 4, Faundo 4, Cahilig 3, Corpuz 2, Gabriel 0.

Quarterscores: 28-26, 57-54, 89-79, 118-110.

Second Game

Ginebra 110 – Brownlee 27, Aguilar 19, Dela Cruz 16, Mercado 14, Thompson 11, Slaughter 8, Mariano 8, Tenorio 4, Ferrer 3, Cruz 0, Caperal 0.

Meralco 95 – Lawal 38, Amer 10, Newsome 8, Hodge 7, Salva 6, Pinto 6, Canaleta 6, De Ocampo 5, Hugnatan 4, Jackson 3, Tolomia 2, Quinto 0, Caram 0.

Quarterscores: 16-28, 43-54, 82-71, 110-95.

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