BLACKWATER Sports booked its first-ever appearance a PBA D-League title series with an 82-74 victory over Boracay Rum on Thursday in Game Three of their Foundation Cup semifinal series at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Elite leaned on hustle plays down the stretch to beat the pesky Waves and set a best-of-three finals match-up with four-time defending champion NLEX starting on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Allan Mangahas had 22 points, while Robby Celiz added 14 points for Blackwater Sports. But it was Pari Llagas and Kevin Ferrer who shone as the Elite fought off Boracay Rum’s challenge.
Llagas scored off an offensive rebound and Ferrer converted his own interception to help the Elite break loose from a 70-70 deadlock.
“Tingin ko ’yung interception ni Kevin Ferrer ang naging turning point and from there on, we held on and preserve the victory,” said Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac.
“We wanted it, naghihintay lang kami ng isang spark,” said Isaac.
Blackwater Sports, which last conference booked a semifinal spot early only to make a quick exit and miss the finals, gets a shot at the title this time.
It is the first time the Elite will play in the championship round since the league’s inception in 2011.
Ken Acibar and Jeff Viernes had 16 points apiece for the Waves.
Blackwater Sports (82) – A. Mangahas 22, Celiz 14, Ferrer 11, Llagas 11, Chua 10, Bagatsing 8, Ciriacruz 4, Pe 2, Vigil 0, J. Mangahas 0, Austria 0, Suguitan 0.
Boracay Rum (74) – Acibar 16, Viernes 16, Sabellina 12, Fernandez 8, Taha 8, Siruma 5, Rosopa 5, Arellano 2, Eguilos 1, Ilagan 1, Pasculado 0, Tagarda 0.
Quarterscores: 18-14; 34-37; 56-58; 82-74.