Blackwater gave new coach Nash Racela a victory in his first game after turning things around in the second half to stun NorthPort 96-89 in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Roi Sumang, Mac Belo and Don Trollano helped orchestrate the Elite’s rally in the third quarter that saw them outscore the Batang Pier 41-18 in that stretch before keeping their poise in the payoff period to complete an impressive outing with Racela calling the shots.
Sumang was key on both ends for Blackwater to finish with 17 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals, Trollano had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Belo 16 points and six boards.
Last season’s Governors’ Cup Best Player of the Conference Christian Standhardinger put up 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while Mythical Five member Sean Anthony produced 22 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in a losing cause as the Batang Pier wasted a 47-38 halftime lead in their first assignment inside the bubble.
Blackwater went on a scoring spree in the third with Sumang, Trollano and Belo accounting for 25 of the team’s points in that quarter for a 79-65 lead.
The Elite stretched their margin to 82-65 in the fourth, until the Batang Pier tried to mount a comeback with Anthony hitting 10 including a three that reduced the gap to four, 88-84.
Paolo Taha once again cut the Blackwater margin to four for the final time at 93-89 with a three entering the final minute, and made a stop after Frank Golla missed his attempt from beyond the arc.
But Sumang forced Kevin Ferrer to lose the ball and Ed Daquiaog was able to pick it up during a scramble to score a layup on the other end for a 95-89 lead in favor of the Elite with 29 seconds left.
Daquioag was also in double figures for Blackwater with 13 points and added six rebounds and two blocks.
Lanete made all of his 14 points in the first half that keyed NorthPort’s early assault.
BLACKWATER 96— Sumang 17, Trollano 17, Belo 16, Daquioag 13, Tolomia 8, Magat 8, Desiderio 4, Dennison 3, Salem 3, Golla 2, Shaw 2, Gabriel 0, Dario 0.
NORTHPORT 89 — Standhardinger 23, Anthony 22, Lanete 14, Nabong 7, Taha 5, Manganti 3, Subido 3, Ferrer 3, Cruz 2, Revilla 0.
Quarters: 21-25, 38-47, 79-65, 96-89.