BLACKWATER flashed its depth to hold off GlobalPort, 99-91, as it continued its road to relevance in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Mac Belo showed the way once again with 20 points, but the Elite also drew significant contribution from the bench down the stretch, especially from Roi Sumang and Ael Banal.
The Elite also took advantage of the absence of Stanley Pringle after the GlobalPort star was ejected late in the third after picking up a second flagrant foul 1, a landing spot violation on Belo.
As a result, the Elite notched their second straight win and fourth in six games overall to surpass their most wins ever in any conference in their three-year history in the league.
The Elite also moved a half-game behind solo leader San Miguel Beer in the standings as they supplanted the Batang Pier, who dropped to a 3-2 win-loss card.
“We wanted to give ourselves a chance to be in the Top Two and have a good Christmas this year,” Elite coach Leo Isaac said.
Belo led five Elite players who scored at least nine points, capping off his scoring effort with a triple that gave the Elite an 89-79 lead, before after repeated attempts of a comeback by the Batang Pier, Sumang knocked down his own three-pointer over Nino Canaleta that took the fight out of their opponents.
Banal finally showed flashes of being the top pick in the regular draft as the rookie wingman scored all his five points early in the fourth period.
The result spoiled the near-triple-double Terrence Romeo put up as he fired a game-high 22 points on top of nine assists and eight boards in 38 minutes.
The GlobalPort franchise player, however, took 21 shots to get to his scoring output as he missed a handful of makeable close-range baskets in the payoff period.
Joining Romeo in his extra shooting work after practice appears to be paying off for Von Pessumal as the rookie marksman scored all his 10 points, including two treys, in the final frame that prevented the Elite from pulling away.
BLACKWATER 99 – Belo 20, Pinto 15, Buenafe 11, Dela Cruz 13, Sumang 9, Aguilar 7, Banal 5, Cervantes 5, Forrester 4, Sena 4, Pascual 2, Ababou 2, Miranda 2
GLOBALPORT 91 – Romeo 22, Pringle 14, Quinahan 12, Canaleta 11, Cortez 10, Pessumal 10, Pennisi 5, Mamaril 5, Banal 2, Maierhofer 0, Urbiztondo 0, Paredes 0
Quarterscores: 23-23, 48-47, 77-67, 99-91