REIL Cervantes scored on a late three-point play and Blackwater Sports woke up just in time to beat Café France, 69-67, on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Blackwater (5-3) stayed in contention for the last outright semifinal berth as it climbed to a three-way tie for second place with Cebuana Lhuillier and Jumbo Plastic Linoleum.
The Elite faces Cebuana Lhuillier in their final elimination round outing on Monday.
Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac, however, wasn't happy with the win, frustrated as he was with the Elite's lackluster play for much of the match.
Isaac showed his displeasure during one timeout by slamming a chair that broke into several pieces in front of his players midway through the fourth quarter.
“Lousy,” said Isaac. “Kapag ka ganun, hindi mo na maibabalik ‘yung lousiness in the first three quarters. All you have to do is focus on the remaining minutes of the game. Maybe, makasalba pa tayo ng panalo.”
“Baka nagising,” said Isaac, when asked about the "chair incident."
Salvage a win Blackwater did as the Elite finished with a 10-4 run to overcame a four-point deficit following a Rod Ebondo follow-up dunk, 63-59, with 2:32 left in the game.
Jericho Cruz tied the game at 63 before Cervantes’ go-ahead three-point play with 1:07 left in the game.
Blackwater nearly paid dearly for its three missed free throws in the endgame while leading by 69-66 with 4.5 seconds to play. Joseph Sedurifa intentionally missed his second free throw with 1.2 ticks but Café France couldn’t throw up a game-tying shot.
Gio Ciriacruz had 17 points and eight rebounds, Cervantes added 12 points, while Mark Cruz, Kevin Ferrer and Jericho Cruz each chipped in 10 markers for Blackwater.
Café France (3-5)l now faces a battle for the final quarterfinal slot. The Bakers are now tied with Cagayan Valley and Boracay Rum for sixth place ahead of a match against Jumbo Plastic on Tuesday.
Blackwater Sports (69) – Ciriacruz 17, Cervantes 12, M. Cruz 10, Ferrer 10, Bulawan 4, Pinto 4, Austria 2, A. Mangahas 0, Llagas 0, Trollano 0.
Café France (67) – Abundo 11, Sedurifa 10, Cortes 10, Batino 10, Ebondo 10, Jeruta 6, De Leon 5, Montilla 5, Acidre 0, Montilla 0, Mutombo 0.
Quarterscores: 22-15; 32-35; 50-51; 69-67.