BLACKWATER Sports barely avoided the upset axe, surviving Informatics, 67-64, on Tuesday for its fourth consecutive win in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao.
The Elite needed the heroics of Allan Mangahas late in the game to ward off the winless Icons and keep their winning streak intact.
After dropping its opening game, the Elite have improved their win-loss card to 4-1 behind leaders NLEX, Big Chill, and Cagayan Valley.
Mangahas was fouled as he pulled down an offensive rebound after a missed three-point attempt by teammate Gio Ciriacruz, leading to two free throws with 20.6 seconds left that settled the final score. Mangahas finished with eight points and 11 assists.
It was a surpisingly ugly win for Blackwater against Informatics, which fell to a 0-6 win-loss slate.
“When you are up against a team that has not won a single game, you tend to relax and hope that they’ll give up the victory easily,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.
“Pero sabi ko, hindi (dapat) ganoon. The more na magpursigi ka, kasi they feel no pressure. They will try to get the win especially na alam nila na kalaban nila, isa sa mga teams na nasa taas,” Isaac said.
The Icons looked set to tie the game but Mark Benitez failed to complete a three-point play with 55 seconds remaining. That capped an 8-0 run, 64-65.
After the free throws by Mangahas, Informatics took too long to hoist a game-tying triple, with Moncrief Rogado throwing up a contested three-pointer as time expired.
Kevin Ferrer finished with 18 points, including four triples, while Justin Chua and Ian Mazo added 11 for Blackwater Sports.
Blackwater Sports (67) – Ferrer 18, Chua 11, Mazo 11, Llagas 9, Mangahas 8, Fortuna 7, G. Ciriacruz 3, Abdul 0, Vigil 0, Pe 0, I. Ciriacruz 0, Celiz 0.
Informatics (64) – Rublico 14, Rogado 13, Bautista 12, Benitez 11, Del Rosario 6, Ablaza 5, Melegrito 2, Hayes 1, Cabonce 0, Sanghera 0, Carlos 0, Acuna 0, Montuano 0, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 18-13; 30-29; 51-52; 67-64.