BLACKWATER Sports stormed back from a six-point deficit to force overtime before delivering the crucial blows in an 87-82 victory over Café France on Thursday to stay alive in its quarterfinals bid in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
Kevin Ferrer forced the extra period and then Allan Mangahas scored timely baskets in overtime to help the Elite clinch their seventh win in 12 outings.
The victory also forced Blackwater Sports to tie its victim at sixth place and now holds edge in the tiebreaker for the last quarterfinals berth.
Blackwater Sports can seal a berth into the next round with a win over Cebuana Lhuillier on Tuesday.
Down 64-70 in the final period, Ferrer nailed a triple with 1:08 to go and then converted three free throws on a foul by Mon Abundo with 22.7 seconds in regulation to knot the count at 70-all.
Mangahas scored 10 of his 20 points in overtime including the first four points of the extra session and had a pivotal three-point play with 51.9 seconds to go that gave Blackwater an 81-77 lead.
The Elite lost another big fourth quarter lead down the stretch, but unlike in its previous two losses, the team didn't collapse this time and came through with the victory behind the heroics of Ferrer and Mangahas.
“Nag-struggle eh,” said an obviously relieved Blackwater Sports head coach Leo Isaac. “Hopefully, with this victory, we can turn things around.”
Café France went on an 18-4 run capped by two free throws by Mac Montilla with 1:17 left in the fourth to take 70-64 lead.
Ferrer added 18 points, while Jericho Cruz finished with 13 markers for Blackwater Sports.
Montilla had a huge game with 24 points including 15 in the fourth quarter in a losing effort for Café France.
Blackwater Sport (87) – A. Mangahas 20, Ferrer 18, Cruz 13, Bulawan 9, Llagas 8, Ciriacruz 6, Bagatsing 4, Austria 3, Pe 2, Acibar 2, J. Mangahas 2.
Café France (82) – Montilla 24, Batino 19, Cortes 12, Nimes 11, Ebondo 8, Abundo 6, Gallardo 2, Opiso 0, De Leon 0, Parale 0, Sarangay 0.
Quarterscores: 20-11; 34-31; 50-48; 70-70 (reg); 87-82.