Elite try to dazzle again when govs' cup returns

September 16, 2018
Stranded in Dubai for 12 hours, the Philippine basketball team prepares to leave for its long flight to Manila on Friday, two days before playing Qatar in a closed-door game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum for the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifiers. The Filipinos, coached by Yeng Guiao, will come off an 73-81 loss to Iran on Thursday, on the same night the Qataris absorbed a terrible beating at the hands of Australia. The delay was brought about by poor weather caused by typhoon 'Ompong'. (Fiba photo)

AFTER a long break, the season-ending PBA Governors' Cup returns on Sept. 19 with a regular doubleheader that will see Blackwater try to ride the momentum of what was to become one of its most memorable shock wins in  franchise history.

The league took a two-week respite to give way to the Board of Governors' meeting in Las Vegas last week and to the Philippine team's stint in the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup Asia qualifiers which ends tomorrow with the Nationals meeting Qatar in a closed-door game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Nationals returned on Friday after being stranded for 12 hours in Dubai on their way to Manila, at about the same time the country was bracing itself for the onslaught of Typhoon 'Ompong'.

The Elite brought down mighty San Miguel Beer, 103-100, in a shocking upset which it hope to follow up when they battle struggling NorthPort as they seek their third straight win at 4:30 p.m. before Meralco and Phoenix mix it up at 7 p.m., also at the Big Dome.     

Import Henry Walker and John Pinto provided the needed sparks in the see-sawing battle down the stretch, leading  Elite into a share of second spot behind Ginebra, which has three wins against no loss as the first round of eliminations takes a long time to finish.

Walker notched game-highs of 35 points, 17 rebounds and seven steals while Pinto finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Elite placed the scalps of the Beermen besides that of the Talk ‘N  Text Tropang Texters whom they beat, 104-98.

An exuberant Blackwater coach Bong Ramos said he saw something positive after that couple of big wins by the Elite.

“Iyung bini-build naming character ng team, nagkakaroon na. Sana tuluy-tuloy na," said  Ramos.

“Iyun 'yung wala kami nu'ng last conference," added Ramos, whose Elite won only once in the last Commissioner’s Cup.

The Fuel Masters meanwhile gun for their second straight win and fourth overall in five outings, but will have to deal with a fancied Meralco team in the main offering at 7 p.m.