ALLAN Mangahas and Pari Llagas made crucial baskets in the late stages of the fourth and in overtime to help Blackwater Sports capture their second straight victory at the expense of Cagayan Valley, 89-85, in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Mangahas had 24 points, while Llagas added 22 as the Elite gained a share of the top spot with Fruitas in the team standings with a 2-0 win-loss slate.
Trailing by seven points, the Elite fought back with Mangahas completing back-to-back three-point plays to cut the deficit to two before Llagas converted a game-tying lay-up at the buzzer to force overtime at 82-82.
Then, Llagas and Mangahas broke an 85-all deadlock with back-to-back jumpers in the final two minutes of the game to clinch the win.
“Nag-step up siya, siguro na-realize niya na puwede siya mag-point guard,” said Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac on Mangahas.
“Pari Llagas also made the big difference. He worked hard, he was the legit big man for us who made easy points in the shaded area,” Isaac added.
Mangahas also added five rebounds, and five steals. Llagas, meanwhile, grabbed a team-best eight boards.
Blackwater Sports had a chance to win the game in regulation, despite a slow start in the first half, when it took a 72-69 lead but Cagayan Valley hit 10 straight points to take the driver’s seat.
“We had lapses, dapat wala nang overtime pero we are lucky that we hit the baskets and took control,” said Isaac.
The Elite played shorthanded in the first half which saw them trail 36-46, with University of Santo Tomas players Kevin Ferrer and Louie Vigil coming in late for the game.
“Sila Ferrer and Vigil, may exam sa eskwela… Wala akong wingmen kaya we just wanted to keep the game close, then let’s organize nalang sa halftime,” said Isaac.
Blackwater Sports somehow salvaged its semifinal loss to Cagayan Valley, which bowed to four-time defending champion NLEX in the championship series.
Adrian Celada had 17 points while Ping Exciminiano chipped in 13 points for the Rising Suns.
Blackwater Sports (89) – Mangahas 24, Llagas 22, Ferrer 10, Chua 9, Austria 8, Celiz 8, G. Ciriacruz 4, Pe 2, Suguitan 2, Singh 0, Bagatsing 0, Vigil 0, Lo 0.
Cagayan Valley (85) – Celada 17, Exciminiano 13, Cruz 12, Poligrates 10, Bringas 10, Montemayor 7, Forrester 5, Lao 4, Webb 3, Canta 2, Del Rio 2, Villanil 0, Melano 0.
Quarterscores: 13-27; 36-46; 58-58; 82-82; 89-85.