KEVIN Ferrer led a telling fourth-quarter run by Blackwater Sports to lift the Elite to an 86-80 win over Café France on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
UST forward Ferrer, along with Robby Celiz and Eric Suguitan, poured in the points in a 12-2 run by the Elite, who nearly bungled a 16-0 start.
Ferrer had a team-high 21 points, Robby Celiz added 12, and Eric Suguitan chipped in 11 markers to help the Elite start their new campaign with a win.
Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac is satisfied enough to get their first game back after losing in the semifinal round to Cagayan Valley last conference.
“Marami pang kailangang i-correct, marami pang kailangang i-review,” said Isaac. “Pero I’m satisfied na nanalo kami sa first game namin.”
Allan Mangahas chipped in 14 points, six rebounds, and six assists in his role as the top point guard of Blackwater Sports following the departure of Jeric Fortuna to the Asean Basketball League.
“Medyo nahirapan si Allan to fill-up the spot. Buti nalang maganda ang linaro ng mga players,” said Isaac.
Café France was able to close the gap to two points, 66-64, but Blackwater Sports responded to make it a 78-66 advantage.
“Naramdaman na nila (Café France) na puwede na sila mag-compete, buti nalang we didn’t lose our focus,” Isaac said.
Back-to-back threes by Mike Silungan cut the deficit to three points, 83-80, with 13 seconds left but he failed to convert another triple on Café France’s next possession.
Alvin Abundo, one of the players obtained by Café France through its tie-up with Centro Escolar University, had 22 points for the Bakers, who also got 21 points from Raymond Maconocido.
Blackwater Sports (86) – Ferrer 21, Mangahas 14, Celiz 12, Suguitan 11, Llagas 8, Chua 5, Vigil 5, Austria 5, Pe 3, G. Ciriacruz 2, Singh 0, Bagatsing 0, Lo 0, Mangahas 0.
Café France (80) – Abundo 22, Maconocido 21, Magat 10, Parala 8, Silungan 6, De Leon 4, Magbitang 3, Batino 2, Lopez 2, Gallardo 2, Knuttel 0, Cornejo 0.
Quarterscores: 31-18; 45-36; 66-60; 86-80.