BLACKWATER didn’t let a heartbreaking overtime loss against Ginebra dampen its spirit as it pulled off a 116-92 win over Barako Bull to keep its flickering playoffs hopes alive in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elite never looked back the moment they jumped to a 24-10 lead late in the opening period on the way to the dominant win that came almost a week after their 102-94 double overtime defeat to the Kings in Angeles City.
Although it was only their second win in nine outings, the Elite remained in the hunt for a quarterfinals berth as they tied Mahindra for ninth to 10th place. The two young teams will tangle in a crucial game at the end of the eliminations on Dec. 20, whose outcome might have a big say on the playoffs bid of the Elite and Enforcers.
Carlo Lastimosa continued to wax hot in the all-Filipino conference, resetting his career-high with 38 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, just two weeks after scoring 32 markers in a 120-105 loss to Globalport.
"We really have to push them during practices to emphasize the importance of winning our remaining games. We keep on saying puwede pa, puwede pa. Don’t give up. We just have to continue what we're doing especially the good habits,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.
“Sayang ‘yung game namin against Ginebra (last Saturday). Puwede kaming nanalo dun, kung naipanalo namin yun, and morale and confidence ng mga players aakyat,” he added.
But the loss seemed not to have affected the Elite as Lastimosa also got plenty of help from rookie teammate Art Dela Cruz, who finished with 21 points, Bam Gamalinda with 15, and the duo of veteran Mike Cortez and big man Frank Golla, who combined for 18 markers.
It was Lastimosa though, who really stepped up on the plate for Blackwater.
The nephew of PBA great Jojo Lastimosa scored 17 points in the final period, whose three-point shooting in the waning minutes of the game helped the Elite put away a late rally by Barako Bull.
Lastimosa fired back-to-back three-pointers to give Blackwater a 116-89 lead before Isaac finally pulled him out of the game in the final 61 seconds.
The 24-point winning margin is the biggest in Blackwater’s young franchise history, eclipsing the team’s previous record of 12 (84-72) it registered against Meralco in last year’s Commissioner’s Cup.
The total output of 116 is likewise the best in the team’s two-year stint in the league.
Willie Wilson had 23 points for a Barako Bull side which missed the services of injured playmaker RR Garcia (dislocated shoulder.
The Energy fell to a 4-5 record.
Blackwater (116) -- Lastimosa 38, Dela Cruz 21, Gamalinda 15, Cortez 9, Golla 9, Erram 6, Reyes 5, Cervantes 4, Sena 4, Vosotros 3, Canada 2, Agovida 0, Ballesteros 0.
Barako Bull (92) -- Wilson 23, Urbiztondo 17, Fortuna 13, Pennisi 10, Lanete 6, Brondial 5, Forrester 4, Intal 4, Monfort 4, Baracael 2, Caperal 2, Miranda 2, Sorongon 0.
Quarterscores: 26-12; 56-37; 81-66; 116-92.