Elite smash Kia to bolster All-Filipino playoff bid
Paul Lintag on Feb 16, 2018 06:33 PM
Blackwater improved to 4-5 with the win, good for joint 8th place with Phoenix.
Blackwater's own playoff chase got a timely boost Friday at the Big Dome.
The Elite used a second-half surge to smash Kia, 95-76, in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, making thinggs interesting in the race for the last quarterfinal slots of the season-opening joust.
Blackwater improved to 4-5 with the win, good for joint 8th place with Phoenix. Meanwhile, the Picanto were formally eliminated from contention after losing for the eighth time in nine games.
"We would want to keep our hopes alive and that could only happen if we could continue our winning ways," head coach Leo Isaac said.
"That win against San Miguel was like a shot in the arm and with this convincing win against Kia, maybe we can go on and move up to the next level," he added.
Up by only six at the break, Blackwater slowrly pulled away in the second half behind Mike Digregorio, who scored 14 points in the third period alone.
The Elite led by as many as 26 points, 94-68, after they almost completely shut down Kia in the fourth quarter.
Digregorio led the way for Blackwater with 21 points while JP Erram had another double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Allein Maliksi added 14 points for the Elite.
For the Picanto, it was Ronald Tubid that carried the offense, going for a game-high 22 points. Reden Celda was right behind him with 21.
BLACKWATER 95 — DiGregorio 21, Erram 17, Maliksi 14, Sena 9, Belo 8, Marcelo 8, Cruz 5, Pinto 5, Jose 4, Javier 3, Banal 1, Cortez 0, Neypes 0, Palma 0.
KIA 76 — Tubid 22, Celda 21, Corpuz 9, Lastimosa 8, McCarthy 6, Reyes 5, Camson 3, Khobuntin 2, Escoto 0, Galanza 0, Sara 0, Yee 0.
Quarters: 25-21, 47-41, 77-65, 95-76.
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