ON THE RISE: Elite cherish solo second midway through PH Cup
Paul Lintag on Dec 22, 2016 11:27 AM
Roi Sumang was the latest Blackwater surprise in a conference that's already full of them.
As a young PBA franchise, Blackwater is enjoying all of its little accomplishments in the league.
And in a tournament full of surprises so far, none is bigger than the Elite actually occupying solo second place behind two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup.
Think about it, when was the last time Blackwater was this high in the standings at the near halfway point of the conference?
While the Elite were the first of the two expansion teams to make the playoffs, Mahindra beat Blackwater to the top of the standings after a rousing 4-0 start in the 2016 Governors' Cup.
Well now, it's Blackwater's time to shine.
"Bihira. Sa tatlong taon namin sa PBA, ngayon lang kami andito sa sitwasyon na nasa no. 2 spot kami midway through the eliminations," head coach Leo Isaac said of their 4-2 record, half a game behind the Beermen for the top spot.
"Talagang iche-cherish namin ito at talagang paghihirapan namin para makuha namin yung gusto naming marating for this conference," he added.
The Elite have been very vocal about making the playoffs this conference especially after acquiring two top picks in the recent PBA Draft.
With a chance to go three games above .500 to end the year, Blackwater might just do it.
"Parang gulong lang, minsan nasa ilalim, minsa nasa ibabaw. Nasa magandang pwesto naman kami ngayon, siguro nakukuha rin sa tyaga na we are really practicing playing basketball really hard these days. And there's a different atmosphere, masaya," Isaac said.
"Kita sa mukha nila [players], everybody's happy. They are happy for their teammates, pag may player na maganda ang nilalaro, like ngayon si Roi Sumang, alam ko masaya ang buong team para kay Roi Sumang. Everybody rubs on to everybody kung ano man ang magandang nilalaro ng isang player," he added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8