BLACKWATER Sports enters the semifinals oozing confidence after going through do-or-die games in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
The Elite have won four straight games including a do-or-die match at the close of the elimination round, and victories over twice-to-beat Jumbo Plastic Linoleum in the quarterfinals.
They now face outright semifinalist Big Chill, and Elite coach Leo Isaac sees it as another challenge as they try to make a second straight finals appearance after winning last season’s Foundation Cup.
The best-of-three series starts Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.
Blackwater Sports will also have a source of motivation going into the semifinals as it lost to the Superchargers, 83-90, in their November 12 tiff.
“’Yun ’yung sinasabi ko na pagka ganyan na na-tetest ang character ng mga bata, ’yung confidence nila, nag-e-elevate,” Isaac said. “Hopefully, we will give Big Chill a good series.”
Jericho Cruz has been putting on an outstanding effort for the Elite, highlighted by a 29-point performance in the series-clincher against Jumbo Plastic last week, a 91-81 come-from-behind victory.
“We have a good chance (against Big Chill) dahil zero-zero na uli,” Isaac said.
With the Superchargers already assured of the semifinals having finished the eliminations second, Big Chill had an opportunity to scout Blackwater Sports in the quarterfinal series. But Isaac said they are also doing their homework.
“They have been scouting us. We will also be reviewing their games also. They got the firepower in (Reil) Cervantes, they have good recruits like (Khazim) Mirza. And magaling ’yung point guard nila (Brian Heruela),” said Isaac.