MACAU – BLACKWATER used a superb finishing flurry to stun fancied Korean side Seoul Samsung Thunders, 78-67, and start off its Asia League Super 8 2018 campaign on a high note on Tuesday at Macao East Asian Games Dome here.
JP Erram imposed his presence down low with his 20 points on an ultra-efficient 9-of-11 shooting clip, to go with 16 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and two steals to lead the fight for the Elite.
Raymar Jose added 14 points and six boards as the Blackwater bigs threw their weight around inside to win the rebounding battle, 59-37, while scoring 54 points in the paint against Seoul Samsung’s 22.
The Elite guards were as stellar as Paul Zamar had nine of his 11 points in the first half.
Blackwater saw its seven-point fourth quarter edge trimmed down to four, 66-62, after a split from the line by former Phoenix import Lee Gwan Hee midway through the final frame.
But the Elite showed their poise in the endgame, putting together a 10-0 spurt to bring the lead back up to 14, 76-62 in the final 1:37 to take the fight out of the Thunders.
Blackwater now turns its attention to another heavyweight in the Guangzhou Long Lions in their Group B duel on Wednesday.
Kim Dong Uk and Kim Hyun Soo both finished with 16 points while Lee got 12 points, four rebounds, and two assists in the defeat.
BLACKWATER 78 – Erram 20, Jose 14, Zamar 11, Belo 9, Maliksi 8, DiGregorio 7, Banal 3, Javier 2, Palma 2, Pinto 2, Sumang 0.
SEOUL SAMSUNG 67 – Kim DU 16, Kim HS 16, Lee 12, Cha 7, Cheon 6, Bae 5, Hong 3, Jang 2, Choi 0.
Quarters: 21-16, 41-37, 63-59, 78-67.