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    PBA yearender: Blackwater makes louder noise off court than in bubble conference

    Dec 23, 2020

    BLACKWATER suffered another losing season in 2020, and it seemed like the Elite made noise more during the offseason than in the actual bubble conference during the year.

    Here are five moments in 2020 for Blackwater.

    Premature training

    Controversy surrounded Blackwater last July when team owner Dioceldo Sy disclosed in a television program that the Elite conducted workouts before the official start of training by PBA teams following a clearance by the Inter-Agency Task Force. The Elite were fined P100,000 for the premature practice, with the PBA also ordering the team to undergo swab testing and quarantine.

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    Owner threats sale of team

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    Following a warning from the PBA for the unsanctioned training, Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy bared that he is putting the team on sale in a package that could be worth P150 million, and added that he is “done with the PBA.” The PBA was not done with fining Blackwater as the league also launched a probe on Sy’s statements that will be forwarded to the Board of Governors. Sy later retracted his statements about selling the franchise.

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    False positive case

    A player from the Elite became a suspected Covid-19 case inside the bubble, a situation which forced the PBA to postpone games and temporarily halt play in the Philippine Cup. The player turned out to be “false positive” after another round of test while he was in quarantine at the Athletes’ Village.

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    Injury woes

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    Blackwater’s rotation also suffered a blow during the bubble due to health issues. Paul Desiderio had to leave the bubble due to a minor injury and a personal matter that he had to attend to. Maurice Shaw, meanwhile, sustained back problems that hampered the play of the second overall pick in last year’s PBA draft.

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    Strong start, slow finish

    The coaching tenure of new head coach Nash Racela got off to a promising start after the Elite began with a 2-1 record in the bubble with victories over NorthPort and NLEX. The second victory, however, proved to be Blackwater’s last in 2020 as the Elite slumped to eight straight defeats to end up at 10th place in another disappointing campaign for the squad.

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