The Ray Parks era in Blackwater is off to a solid start.
The Elite needed five extra minutes but got the job done anyway Sunday, scoring a 94-91 overtime win over Meralco to start the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the MOA Arena.
Blackwater got three players to finish in double figures and the Elite got only their third win of the current PBA season. They were a miserable 2-9 in the All-Filipono for last place.
“I just happy that the players stuck together,” said head coach Aris Dimaunahan.
Coach Aris likewise had his first win for the Elite as head coach after taking over for Bong Ramos.
“I'm proud of them for making those stops in the endgame, and they didn't fold. I always believe in these guys. I have to give credit to my players for defending in the endgame,” he added.
Blackwater got away with an overtime period after Meralco rookie Trevis Jackson missed a potential winner in regulation.
In extra time, the Elite leaned to import Alex Stepheson to get the job done. Still Blackwater had to watch Meralco reinforcement Gani Lawal missed a last-second triple to walk away with the win.
Stepheson, a former Bolts import, led the way for the Elite with 21 points and 31 rebounds.
Mike Digregorio also had 21 points while Ray Parks debuted with 20 points and 8 rebounds in the victory.
The Bolts got 34 points and 21 rebounds from Lawal however, only one local finished in double figures for the team in Mike Tolomia with 11 markers.
Meralco didn’t play recently-acquired big man Raymond Almazan just yet, choosing to keep him on ice at least for the first game of the new conference.
BLACKWATER 94 -- Stepheson 21, DiGregorio 21, Parks 20, Maliksi 12, Belo 6, Sumang 4, Sena 4, Dario 3, Al Hussaini 2, Alolino 1, Tratter 0, Cortez 0, Javier 0.
MERALCO 91 -- Lawal 34, Tolomia 11, Jackson 8, Pinto 7, Newsome 5, Salva 5, Hodge 4, Amer 4, De Ocampo 4, Hugnatan 4, Canaleta 3, Caram 2, Espinas 0, Quinto 0.
Quarters: 17-19, 37-42, 64-63, 85-85, 94-91.
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