Elite shine

October 27, 2018

BIÑAN, Laguna -- On import Henry  Walker’s perfect day, Blackwater had a good  time in the Petron  Saturday Special out-of-town game in  the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Alonte Sports Arena.

Walker  finished with a team-high 26 points, including a perfect 9-of-9 from the field and 11 rebounds as the  Elite ended  a two-game  skid  with a 120-99  win over Columbian.

With a 7-3 win-loss slate, the Elite  climbed into a share of third place with Alaska Milk and Phoenix in the team standings and stayed  in  the  running for the twice-to-beat quarterfinal

Four other  players  --  Mac Belo (16), Allein Maliksi (13),  Paul Zamar (13) and Mike Digregorio (11)  --  also  scored  in    double figures for the Elite, who led by as many as 31 points, 79-48,  midway in the third quarter.

Akeem Wright produced 28 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Dyip, who ended their disappointing season with a 1-10 slate in the import-laden conference.

A barrage of  three-pointers early in  the game  enabled  Blackwater  to open up  a  33-20 lead after the first period.

The Elite pulled away for good with a 63-42 advantage at halftime.

Hostilities continue today  with Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra, the  top  two teams in the conference,  battling  each other  at the  Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots are 8-2, while the Gin Kings are 7-2, making today’s 6:45 p.m. encounter a battle for the top spot.

“It’s obviously a critical game for us in many levels,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone when asked about the Gin Kings’ meeting with the Hotshots in the penultimate playdate  of  the eliminations.

“It’s Manila Classico and it’s always a big game when we play Magnolia,” added Cone, who also called the shots for  the Hotshots before taking over the job for the league’s most popular ballclub.

Cone, however, is worried that  the Gin Kings will be playing only their first game in 15  longs days, or since suffering a 97-104  setback to Rain or Shine last Oct 13.

“We haven’t played for 15 days and so we need to sharpen our game before the playoffs,” explained Cone.

The Gin Kings will be gunning for their eighth win in 10 outings which would guarantee them the No. 1 position in the top four.

That means they need to win only once in the  quarterfinal round against the team that will finish No. 8  after the elimination stage.

For the Hotshots, it will be the last game in the elimination round  and a win over the Gin Kings  will assure  them of  the  No. 1 spot  regardless of the  outcome of Ginebra’s game  against  Talk N Text on Nov. 4     

The scores:

Blackwater  (120) --Walker 26, Belo 16, Maliksi 13, Zamar 13, Digregorio 11, Erram 9, Pinto 8, Cortez 6, Javier 5, Jose 5, Palma 5, Sumang 3, Sena 0, Cruz 0, Banal 0.

Columbian  (99) --  Wright 28, King 11, McCarthy 11, Reyes 9, Khobuntin 7, Gabriel 7, Cabrera 6, Corpuz 5, Tubid 4, Ababou 4, Sara 3, Celda 2, Escoto 2, Cahilig 0.

Quarterscores: 33-20, 63-42, 93-69, 120-99.