Blackwater hopes to continue an impressive start under new coach Nash Racela when it goes up against Alaska on Tuesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The Elite, who have a knack for unleashing an offensive outburst in the third quarter, shoot for their third win in four games in the 6:45 p.m. match opposite an Aces side which is coming off a hard-fought win over the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok.
Magnolia tries to bounce back in the 4 p.m. tussle with Meralco, which is likewise out to redeem itself from a disappointing loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel two nights earlier.
Racela has been praised for the way he has enabled the Elite to start off the bubble on the right track, especially with the third quarter onslaughts that saw his team average 35.0 points.
Last Saturday, Blackwater made 35 points in the third to pull away from NLEX and produce a 98-88 victory.
But Racela can’t be too content with his team’s performance, especially against an Alaska team that beat Magnolia 87-81 also last Saturday.
“It will be tough playing them, especially coming off their first win,” Racela said, as quoted by PBA.ph. “It will take us playing together again (for us) to have a good chance.”
Don Trollano has been one of Blackwater’s best performers so far, averaging team highs in points (19.3) and rebounds (10.3) even as Roi Sumang’s confidence is on a high as evident with the 14.7-point, 4.7-rebound, 4.0-assist and 1.7-steal numbers.
Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso is banking on Jeron Teng and Jvee Casio to build on their key performances against Magnolia.
The Aces climbed into the win column after dropping their first two matches against the TNT Tropang Giga (100-95) and Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (93-81).