MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Mike Digregorio caught fire in the 3rd quarter while Poy Erram submitted a double-double as the Blackwater Elite rolled to their second straight win with a 95-76 romp of the Kia Picanto in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Friday, February 16.
Scoring just 5 points in the first two quarters with Blackwater leading by just 6 points, 47-41, Digregorio poured in 14 in the 3rd period to propel the Elite to a comfortable 77-65 lead heading in the last frame.
Blackwater, which improved to 4-5 to join the Phoenix Fuel Masters at 8th place, then used a 10-0 run in the final period to pull away for good, 87-67. It led by as much as 26, 94-68.
Digregorio finished with 21 points and 3 assists exactly a week after torching the San Miguel Beermen with 26 points while Erram registered 17 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists in the win.
Allein Maliksi chipped in 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists and James Sena and Mac Belo added 9 and 8 points, respectively, for Blackwater.
"We had to make defensive adjustments and we were able to have a good lead going into the end of the 3rd quarter and the players were able to coast along going into the final minutes of the game," said Blackwater head coach Leo Austria.
Blackwater pulled 16 more rebounds (56-40) and issued 11 more assists (22-11) against Kia.
Ronald Tubid erupted with 22 points, 14 coming in the second quarter alone, off 6 triples to go with 8 rebounds but that proved in vain as the Picanto absorbed their 4th straight loss.
Reden Celda added 21 points for Kia, which at 1-8, is already out of contention for the playoffs.
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
Quarter scores: 25-21, 47-41, 77-65, 95-76
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.