Finally, Blackwater stands among PBA's elite

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 14, 2019 07:46 PM
Finally, Blackwater stands among PBA's elite
The 2019 PBA Commissioners' Cup is a history-making conference for Blackwater

Before the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Blackwater only had one winning record to show in the 13 conferences it has seen action in.

With a well-earned win over Alaska, Sunday at Araneta Coliseum, however, they finally got to celebrate another winning record.

Not only that, their seventh win in 11 games clinched for them the third-seed for the next round - by far, the upstart team's best-ever finish in the eliminations.

For the players, making franchise history was all the extra fuel they needed for their already burning fire.

"Basta gusto lang talaga naming manalo para maka-stay kami sa third kasi ngayon lang din nangyari sa amin na third kami," Roi Sumang said after dropping eight of his 18 points in the last four minutes.

He then continued, "Lahat, masaya. Lahat, gusto maglaro."

Of course, Blackwater is only cherishing the fact that, for the first time in its five-year history as a franchise, its fate is in its own hands.

"Masarap sa feeling yung ganitong number three kasi 'di katulad before na lagi lang kaming umaasa sa kung sino yung mananalo (sa taas ng standings). Ngayon, kami yung may hawak kung aonng pwedeng maging spot namin," Sumang said.

In three of the four times it has qualified for the playoffs, it was the lower-seed and was booted out right away.

Now, the Elite are the third-seed - and are the ones watching the likes of Magnolia, Rain or Shine, and San Miguel fight over playoff positioning.

For this breakthrough, they are nothing but grateful. "We all know that we were dead-last last conference and we thank our proud owners, Dioceldo Sy and Silliman Sy for their unwavering support. Also, the players, congratulations to them for really sticking with each other," head coach Aris Dimaunahan said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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