Blackwater is still alive.
With their backs against the wall, the Elite finally got the performance and win they were yearning for after methodically tripping Columbian Dyip, 106-100, to snap its four-game losing streak and keep itself in the running for a quarterfinals berth in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Friday night.
Allein Maliksi and Mac Belo teamed up to deliver a stellar performance to lead the way for Blackwater.
Maliksi uncorked a game-high 29 points, six rebounds and five assists to continue his hot streak, while Belo wasn’t far behind, registering 22 markers and nine boards.
“Sobrang saya na nakuha namin ‘tong panalong ‘to kasi kailangan na talaga,” said Blackwater coach Bong Ramos. “We need to keep fighting to give ourselves a chance.”
The Elite needed some key baskets down the stretch to ice the win.
Belo’s floater with 3:27 remaining gave Blackwater some needed distance, 97-89.
Columbian clawed back to make it 100-102 with over 30 seconds left after an 11-5 run, but Blackwater closed the door with four more ensuring free throws from Roi Sumang and Paul Desiderio.
The Elite remained in 11th place at 2-6, but the win kept their slim chance of making the top eight.
On the other hand, Columbian, despite the loss, stayed in sixth place with its 3-5 slate.
Meanwhile, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial admitted an officiating blunder in Phoenix’s controversial 98-96 escape over NorthPort last Wednesday.
In that game, referee Noy Guevarra whistled a questionable offensive foul on the Batang Pier’s Sean Anthony after he made a go-ahead triple in the final minute. The call significantly impacted the outcome of the game, causing the league to review the game.
Upon review, Marcial said that there was indeed a committed error on the play and that Guevarra may face sanctions for the crucial mistake.
“It was an unfortunate mistake by the referee in calling the offensive foul and we regret the wrong call made,” Marcial said in a statement. “Accordingly, the erring referee shall be meted the appropriate sanction.”