ANTIPOLO – Blackwater showed improvement even with its new recruits not yet suiting up as it dismantled Kia, 118-97, to resume its resurgence in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night at the Ynares Center.
The Elite, who now have Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo in tow, banked on a strong start that saw them score their most points in a quarter (40) and in a half (70) in franchise history as they led by almost 50 points to cruise to the blowout victory.
Bill Walker again showed the way with 25 points, 11 boards, and seven assists, while Poy Erram and Mike DiGregorio provided the most support among the locals of the Elite, who quickly atoned for a loss to TNT KaTropa last Wednesday to win for the fourth time in five games after starting the conference with four straight losses.
The Elite also spoiled the debut of new Kia import Geron Johnson, keeping their victims winless in eight games.
“We noticed we lacked energy against TNT and ‘energy’ was the word we needed in this game,” Elite coach Leo Isaac said. “And true enough, we showed good energy offensively and defensively, and dictated tempo most of the game.”
The Elite also shot the lights out as they knocked down a franchise-record 19 of their 39 triples for a blistering 49 percent from beyond the arc.
Walker and Nino Canaleta buried four treys each to lead the onslaught, while Mike DiGregorio added two triples and stayed consistent with 16 points, nine boards, and two steals as he proved to be a thorn on the side of his former team.
Ael Banal finally showed flashes of his potential as the top pick in the last regular draft also joined the three-point party with two treys, finishing with 12 points, two steals, one board, and one assist in less than 13 minutes of play.
The rookie guard also hit the jumper that gave the Elite their biggest lead at 49 points, 86-37, early in the third quarter.
Erram continued his full recovery from an ACL injury as he anchored the middle with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting, 14 boards, four blocks, and one steal in 27 minutes.
Johnson tallied 28 points, six assists, and four rebounds, against nine turnovers to lead the Picanto in a losing effort.
BLACKWATER 118 – Walker 25, DiGregorio 16, Erram 16, Canaleta 13, Banal 12, Sumang 9, Pinto 8, Gamalinda 7, Belo 6, Pascual 4, Sena 2, Cruz 0, Miranda 0
KIA 97 – Johnson 28, Paniamogan 17, Yee 14, Corpuz 11, Khobuntin 8, Elorde 5, Celda 4, Salva 4, Deutchman 3, Revilla 2, Camson 1, Caperal 0, Jaime 0, Nimes 0, Ballesteros 0
Quarterscores: 40-21, 70-31, 96-62, 118-97