BLACKWATER Sports cut a tall Indian side Karnataka down to size, 91-74, on Saturday to stay unbeaten in the 2014 Penang Chief Minister’s International Cup at the Han Chiang Stadium in Penang, Malaysia.
Faced with a much taller and more cohesive Indian side, Blackwater relied on a run-and-gun game and a resilient frontline to post its second straight win ahead of a big test against a team from Australia on Sunday.
A standout in Blackwater’s win over Singapore on Friday night, Gamalinda once again paced the PBA-bound Elite by scoring eight points in the second half while holding his own against Indian seven footer Sanjay Raj Rajanna.
“Ang lalaki nung kalaban. Mahahaba pa ang kamay. Pero talagang dinaan na lamang namin sa diskarte at katawanan,” said Gamalinda, an import stopper during his time with the Meralco Bolts in the PBA.
Allan Mangahas and rookie prospect Juami Tiongson then led a furious running game for the Ever Bilena franchise which helped the Elite open up a 72-59 lead at the end of three quarters.
“Sumikip kasi yung interior defense ng kalaban, kaya ginawa namin, inikot lang namin ng inikot ang bola. Swerte naman madalas may naiiwang bakante sa ilalim,” said Mangahas, who also set up Pari Llagas, Eddie Laure and Gilbert Bulawan in the paint.
“Malalaki sila (Indians) kaya tinakbuhan namin, dun ang advantage nung team. Ang lalaki kasi nila kaya nakaka-intimidate sa loob ng court,” added the longtime Blackwater Sports guard.
The Dioceldo Sy-owned franchise even led 82-67 in the final 4:12 of the match and never looked back to gain a share of the lead in this six-nation pocket tournament with host Malaysia and Chinese Taipei.
Isaac, meanwhile, hopes his players will finally jell in time for the bigger games of the tournament.
“Now, 'yung team chemistry, after a game mas naging magkakilala sila,” said Isaac of his team formed only less than two weeks ago. “So hopefully we continue and hope that we can improve more as we play three more games here in Penang."
For video highlights of the game, see:
Former Ateneo guard Tiongson topscored for the Elite with 17 points to go with three steals and two assists while Arumugam anchored the Indians with 35 points.
The Penang tournament is part of Blackwater Sports’ buildup for their inaugural season campaign in the PBA which will kick off on October 19.
“Hopefully coach Leo Isaac can tap the talent of these players. Being a former disciple of legendary coach Sonny Jaworski., I'm sure Coach Leo can bring the best out of these guys,” said Sy.
Blackwater Sports 91 - Tiongson 17, Laure 14, Zamar 11, Gamalinda 8, Bulawan 8, Llagas 8, Cruz 7, Ciriacruz 7, Mangahas 6, Austria 5, Bagatsing 0, Soyud 0.
Karnataka (India) 74 - Arumugam 35, Kumar 12, Prakashuppar 12, Shetty 9, Parameswaran 3, R. Thomas 2, Rajanna 1, Bapu 0, I. Thomas 0, Pusparaj 0, Kooranapoonacha 0.