BLACKWATER Sports nearly squandered a 19-point lead before hanging on and defeating Big Chill, 85-83, on Tuesday to keep the spot in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO gym.
The Elite averted a late-game collapse as they watched Terrence Romeo and Isaac Holstein missed their endgame shots in an attempt to force overtime. They improved to 6-1 (win-loss) overall.
“Big Chill made a good run in the stretch,” admitted Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac. “Our guys felt the pressure and made some crucial mistakes.
“But the bottom line is we got the win. Whether it’s one or 10 points, it’s still a win and we’ll take it,” Isaac said.
Justin Chua and Pari Llagas posted double-double marks for Blackwater. They also ignited a 10-0 run to put the Elite on top after Big Chill held an 11-8 lead early in the game.
Chua finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Llagas tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Blackwater led 51-32 early in the third, but Big Chill made a furious comeback going home.
Big Chill then got a big break when it forced Bacon Austria to commit a travelling violation, and the Elite protecting a slim 85-83 lead in the final 19.2 seconds.
But Romeo, playing his first game for Big Chill after missing the team’s game against Fruitas, came up empty on his jumper. The team got the offensive rebound but Holstein missed too, on a jumper from the left corner, allowing Blackwater to escape with the win.
Romeo finished with 24 points, while Alex Nuyles added 20 points for Big Chill, which continued its inconsistent form and dropped to a 3-4 win-loss slate.
Blackwater Sports (85) -- Chua 17, Llagas 16, J. Mangahas 12, A. Mangahas 9, Pe 6, Celiz 6, Ciriacruz 5, Vigil 4, Mazo 3, Austria 3, Bagatsing 2, Suguitan 2.
Big Chill (83) -- Romeo 24, Nuyles 20, Montilla 18, Bringas 6, Canlas 4, Holstein 3, Santos 3, Lozada 3, Heruela 2, Dumapig 0, Villahermosa 0.
Quarterscores: 21-15; 45-30; 70-59; 83-83.