It seemed like a tough 46-point drubbing and a couple of tongue-lashing from head coach Ariel Vanguardia were exactly what Blackwater needed to wake up from its deep sleep and break out of the slump.
Blackwater suffered its most lopsided defeat in franchise history against Bay Area and Vanguardia made it known that he was not happy with the way the Bossing played against the PBA guest team.
“Well, minura ko sila after the game and I think they woke up. The next day when they practiced the leaders had a meeting with themselves led by Justin (Melton) and Jvee (Casio), you know the accountability of each other to remind ourselves,” said Vanguardia, recalling the team’s reaction following the tough loss.
Good thing is that the Bossing responded well as Baser Amer led the bounce back win that not only erased the bitter taste of their horrendous conference debut but also ended the team’s seven-game losing streak bridging the Philippine Cup and the mid-season conference.
Amer finished with 24 points while also getting ample support from the rest of the crew including new acquisitions Troy Rosario and Gab Banal who had 15 and 10 points respectively.
Cameron Krutwig also put up all-around numbers of 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists as Blackwater beat Phoenix, 97-85.
“Maganda itong si Baser ready to step up and talagang sabi ko sa kanya pare dalhin mo yung game natin ngayon kasi magpi-press yung Phoenix nag step-up naman,” said Vanguardia.
The Bossing head tactician was in a good mood during the press conference and even poked fun at Amer who was known for his "Night, night" celebration last conference.
Interestingly, the last time Amer had that iconic celebration was also against Phoenix – the last win Blackwater had tasted before suffering from the losing streak.
“Nakabawi na si Baser kasi yung huling ‘night, night’ niya di na kami nanalo, Phoenix din yun eh,” said Vanguardia drawing laughter from Amer and the members of the press.
“Pinagawan pa ng (outfitter) ng Night, night, pagkatapos ng night, night nakatulog na kami di na kami nagising ngayon lang kami nagising uli,” said Vanguardia in jest.