PBA Philippine Cup

‘Staying humble’: Blackwater to keep pushing after 3-0 start

Delfin Dioquino

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‘Staying humble’: Blackwater to keep pushing after 3-0 start

SHORT STAB. Christian David in action for the Blackwater Bossing in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Blackwater extends its spotless run in the PBA Philippine Cup with a commanding win over hapless Converge, moving within one victory from tying its best unbeaten start in franchise history

MANILA, Philippines – Blackwater head coach Jeff Cariaso has been in the PBA long enough to know that a 3-0 start does not guarantee sustained success.

So Cariaso wants the Bossing to “keep pushing” even as they extended their spotless run in the Philippine Cup with a commanding 90-78 win over hapless Converge at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 6.

Regaining solo lead in the team standings, Blackwater is a win away from tying its best unbeaten start in franchise history when it went 4-0 in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.

“We’re staying humble, we’re staying focused, because we know how quick things can turn. We’re just going to continue working hard,” said Cariaso.

Second overall pick Christian David fired a conference-high 16 points on top of 5 rebounds off the bench to show the way for four other double-figure scorers in the win that saw the Bossing enjoy a lead as big as 35 points.

RK Ilagan and Richard Escoto chimed in 12 points each as they joined hands with David in the first two quarters to help Blackwater pull away early.

Ilagan (12), Escoto (10), and David (9) combined for 31 points in the first half and outscored the entire FiberXers, allowing the Bossing to enter the break with a sizable 58-29 cushion.

That lead grew to its biggest at 70-35 midway through the third period off a three-pointer by Rey Suerte, who finished with 14 points and 4 rebounds.

Cariaso, though, sees plenty of room for improvement as Blackwater got outperformed in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter.

The Bossing still led comfortably at 90-66 with four minutes remaining before they went scoreless the rest of the way, with Converge ending the game on a 12-0 run to make the defeat more acceptable.

“Keep pushing. We want to maintain the good things that we’re doing now and then we want to improve on the things that we feel like we need to improve on and there is still a lot,” said Cariaso.

“We’re still very young together, if that makes sense.”

Veteran forward Troy Rosario added all-around numbers of 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists for Blackwater, which already eclipsed its two-win tally in the last two conferences where it posted a combined 2-20 record.

Alec Stockton posted 24 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, while Schonny Winston put up 22 points and 7 rebounds in the loss that dropped Converge to 0-3.

The FiberXers absorbed their seventh straight loss dating back to last conference and fell to a 1-13 record for the season.

The Scores

Blackwater 90 – David 16, Suerte 14, Ilagan 12, Escoto 12, Rosario 10, Nambatac 7, Yap 5, Sena 3, DiGregorio 3, Tungcab 2, Guinto 2, Kwekuteye 2, Hill 2, Jopia 0. 

Converge 78 – Stockton 24, Winston 22, Arana 18, Fleming 6, Fornilos 3, Balanza 2, Maagdenberg 1, Santos 0, Caralipio 0, Melecio 0, Nieto 0, Ambohot 0, Zaldivar 0.

Quarters: 30-14, 58-29, 76-50, 90-78.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

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.