BLACKWATER coach Bong Ramos wants his team to continue to work as if it’s still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup where the Elite are already on the brink of elimination.
“Alam kong saling pusa na lang kami. Nanggugulo na lang kami,” said Ramos.
The Elite pulled off their first win after losing their first seven games, upsetting Magnolia, 86-84, on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Mathematically, Blackwater is still in contention for the quarterfinals, but would need to win all their three remaining games – and hope for fellow hopefuls on the bottom half of the standings to lose theirs.
With the first victory now in the bag, Ramos doesn’t want his players to be satisfied with three games left in the conference as they now set their sights on the Governors’ Cup.
“Sabi ko nga sa mga players, we are not resting. ‘Yung iba, kapag out na, parang naghihintay na lang ng bakasyon,” said Ramos.
“There is no vacation. This is part of the process,” he said.
Blackwater clinched the victory when Henry Walker scored on a dunk with three seconds left in the fourth quarter, breaking a tie game in the clutch.
Ramos said the Elite had to adjust to his new system since taking over the team from Leo Isaac. Slowly though, Ramos said Blackwater is already getting attuned to the changes.
“Ang hirap kasi. When I came here, it’s really a big adjustment sa mga players. Marami akong binago na maliliit na bagay na hindi naman dating ginagawa. At least, nagrerespond na sila ngayon,” said Ramos.
Ramos also said Walker’s presence this early will be beneficial to the Elite at this point of the conference.
“We asked Walker to come. Sasama na si Walker sa proseso namin going to the next. Wala na ‘to sa amin so at least, may positive na nangyayari sa team,” said Ramos.
For his part, Poy Erram also agrees with Ramos as they will continue to put in the work for the remainder of the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Alam na namin ‘yung feeling na manalo. Para kaming natanggal ng tinik. I-enjoy namin ‘to pero hindi pa tapos ang conference namin,” said Erram, who finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds in the match.
“As a player, as much as we want kung ano kailangan naming gawin, ang goal namin is to win kahit na wala na kaming chance. Ipupush namin mga sarili namin para makakuha ng panalo. Bago kami mag-start ng conference, ‘yun ang goal namin,” he added.