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Sports

Bossing ambush Beermen

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Bossing ambush Beermen
Rashawn McCarthy of Blackwater drives strong to the basket against San Miguel Beer’s Rob Herndon.
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — It was like the roles were reversed: Blackwater, a team that struggles to be playoff contender, delivered in crunchtime whereas San Miguel Beer, fresh from its Philippine Cup conquest, faded in the finish.

Powered by a 32-17 closing barrage, the gritty Bossing handed the debuting Beermen a numbing 109-106 setback in a shocking result that made the defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup titlists red-faced yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Cameron Krutwig, Blackwater’s non-flashy but effective workhorse of an import, scattered 20 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Bossing to the successful ambush.

Locals also delivered big time, led by Baser Amer, whose booming triple gave Blackwater the go-ahead, 107-106, and Myke Ayonayon, whose transition basket off a steal extended their cushion to three with 20.5 seconds left.

The Beermen, for a change, failed to knock down two tying attempts by Marcio Lassiter and Diamond Stone in their final offensive.

The massive reversal put the Bossing back on track after their 105-102 meltdown of a loss to NLEX last time.

Ariel Vanguardia’s spirited troops wiped out SMB’s 15-point margin on their way to 2-2.

“Sabi ko sa kanila, this is the best time to beat San Miguel kasi they’re still struggling and bago pa yung import,” said Vanguardia, referring to Stone, who just arrived two days ago to take the place of the injured Thomas Robinson, SMB’s original import choice.

Later, Magnolia, bucking the absence of injured import Nick Rakocevic in the stretch, rallied past short-handed TNT, 94-92, to grab a share of the lead with Bay Area at 3-0.

Calvin Abueva dropped 15 of his 25 in the final canto to help the Hotshots pull through after trailing by 13 and despite playing all-Filipino in the final 6:40 with Rakocevic (22-15) sidelined by knee injury.

Paul Lee chipped in 16, including the dagger freebies with 4.3 seconds left, as Magnolia stayed spotless and spoiled the 43-point, 17-rebound debut of TNT’s Cameron Oliver.

The Tropang Giga missed Jayson Castro, Mikey Williams, Glenn Khobuntin, Brian Heruela and Raul Soyud due to injuries and Poy Erram due to suspension.

PBA COMMISSIONER’S CUP

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