BLACKWATER rode on the fourth-quarter exploits of Reil Cervantes to shock undermanned Barangay Ginebra, 83-77, for its first win in the PBA Governors Cup at the Dipolog Sports Center in Dipolog City.
Cervantes played his best game for the Elite since being traded by Kia late in the Commissioner’s Cup, as he knocked down two three-point shots in the pivotal fourth before capping his heroics with a 10-foot jumper that gave the expansion franchise the lead for good, 77-76, in the final minute of the Petron Saturday Special.
Ginebra had two chances to regain the lead, but Dorian Pena muffed his two foul shots, while Rodney Brondial misfired on his attempted putback as Blackwater import Marcus Douthit cleared the board.
Sent to the free throw line, the 6-foot-10 Gilas Pilipinas naturalized big man nailed both of his free throws to give the Elite an 80-77 cushion.
Sol Mercado then doomed Ginebra’s chances of turning the game around, when he made a costly turnover during the Kings’ inbound play as his intended pass to import Orlando Johnson was intercepted by Brian Heruela.
The stocky Blackwater rookie split his foul shots to complete the win before a stunned weekend crowd.
The Elite improved to a 1-3 record after opening the tournament with losses against Alaska, GlobalPort and Barako Bull, leaving Commissioner’s Cup runner-up Rain or Shine as the lone winless squad so far.
Ginebra, which continues to miss the services of big men Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, and Chris Ellis, found itself relegated in the same boat as Blackwater following the loss.
The Kings’ lone won came against expansion team KIA Motors, 105-98 last Wednesday.
Douthit led Blackwater with 24 points, Bambam Gamalinda added 18, while Cervantes finished with 14.
Ginebra’s prolific import Orlando Johnson, who averaged 47.6 points in the first three games, finished with 30 points while LA Tenorio added 17.
Blackwater (83) -- Douthit 24, Gamalinda 18, Cervantes 14, Laure 7, Acuna 5, Heruela 5, Erram 4, Salvacion 3, Celiz 2, Bulawan 1.
Ginebra (77) -- Johnson 30, Tenorio 17, Mercado 10, Brondial 7, Urbiztondo 5, Marcelo 4, Sanchir 2, Helterbrand 2, Caguioa 0, Pena 0, Baracael 0, Monfort 0.
Quarterscores: 16-21; 37-36; 62-60; 83-77.