ALLAN Mangahas buried key baskets late in the game to send Blackwater Sports to a 71-67 victory over EA Regen Medical Group on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Mangahas had a near triple-double performance, coming up with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, to help the Elite record their seventh win in eight games and tighten their hold on first place in the team standings.
The point guard gave Blackwater Sports the lead on a lay-up, scoring over big man Raymund Almazan for a 66-65 count.
Jimbo Aquino answered with a deuce but Mangahas continued to pounce on EA Regen’s defense and scored on a fadeaway with 50.1 seconds.
After Tata Bautista missed on a triple, former Blue Eagle Justin Chua scored a three-point play over Ian Sangalang to put the Regens away, 71-67.
“Ayaw naman namin masayang ‘yung game na nag-dictate kami ng pace pero matatalo kami in the last three minutes,” said Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac. “So parang last time-out, ginising ko lang ‘yung mga players.”
“We want to maintain the number one position. We want to maintain ’yung gap between us and ’yung second place. Ayaw namin na hilain kami sa mga teams na dalawa ang talo,” Isaac said.
Gio Ciriacruz had 17 points and five rebounds while Chua had 11 points and nine rebounds for Blackwater Sports.
The loss was EA Regen’s third in seven outings.
Sangalang contributed 14 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals, as Joseph Terso added 12 markers for EA Regen. Bautista had 10 points but was a miserable 2-of-12 from three-point range.
Blackwater Sports (71) – Ciriacruz 17, A. Mangahas 15, Chua 11, Celiz 8, Llagas 7, Bagatsing 2, Vigil 2, Ferrer 2, Pe 2, J. Mangahas 2, Suguitan 2, Austria 1, Mazo 0.
EA Regen (67) – Sangalang 14, Terso 12, Bautista 10, Aquino 9, Maiquez 6, Almazan 5, Sanga 3, Semira 3, Tolentino 2, Ko 2, Apinan 1, Allen 0, Miranda 0.
Quarterscores: 19-18; 34-30; 49-50; 71-67.