Elite escape NLEX to keep playoff hopes rolling
Paul Lintag on May 03, 2017 06:35 PM
The Elite scored a crucial victory to keep their slim playoff chances alive in the Commissioner's Cup.
Blackwater led NLEX by double digits almost all game long.
The Elite still almost ended up losing.
Fortunately, Blackwater had more than enough to hold on against struggling NLEX, scoring a crucial 104-98 victory Wednesday as the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup resumed at the Big Dome.
Behind the exploits of KG Canaleta, Mike DiGregorio, and import Greg Smith, Blackwater controlled the entire game, even leading by as many as 18 points late in the third quarter.
However, the Road Warriors would rally in the fourth to keep things close but NLEX never really broke through and absorbed its eight straight loss in the mid-season joust.
"Going into this game, I told the players to just give ourselves a good chance of making it to the final round," head coach Leo Isaac said as Blackwater improved to 2-6.
"We're just prepping ourselves to be in a position where we can enjoy the games going to the final two games of our stint in this conference," he added.
Canaleta and Smith led the Elite with 24 points apiece while DiGregorio added 22, including 12 in a pulsating third-quarter performance.
For NLEX, who still remain winless at 0-8 this conference, Kevin Alas anchored the offense with 18 points and Rabeh Al-Hussaini added 17. However, import Wayne Chism struggled for only nine points on 20 percent shooting.
BLACKWATER 104 - Smith 24, Canaleta 24, Digregorio 22,Cruz 9, Pinto 7, Pascual 6, Cervantes 4, Aguilar 4, Sena 2, Gamalinda 2, Sumang 0, Buenafe 0.
NLEX 98 - Alas 18, Al-Hussaini 17, Lastimosa 10, Taulava 10, Anthony 9, Chism 9, Khobuntin 8, Camson 5, Villanueva J. 4, Monfort 4, Soyud 3, Rios 1, Tiongson 0, Guinto 0, Baracael 0.
Quarterscores: 28-17, 49-42, 86-68, 104-98.
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