BLACKWATER finally found that finish kick it had been searching for as it stunned Meralco, 92-90, behind the heroics of Carlo Lastimosa to barge into the win column of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Coming off two losses where they built early leads only to fade in the end, the Elite saw themselves in a similar scenario as they established an 18-point point before allowing the Bolts to make a late run.
But Lastimosa, an offseason acquisition, came to the rescue, scoring on a floater with one second remaining to lift the Elite to their first-ever win in the all-Filipino conference after going winless as an expasion team last season.
“We’ve added another word to just ‘compete’, now we’ve written ‘win’ to our team,” said Elite coach Leo Isaac, whose team kept the Bolts winless in two games.
Poy Erram continued his solid play, tallying a team-high 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, five boards, and three blocks in 24 minutes as the journeyman center led six Elite players in double-figure scoring.
One of them was Lastimosa, the junior shooting guard acquired in a trade with Barako Bull, who finished with 11 markers, none bigger than the last three, one on a free throw that proved to be an insurance point and made it 90-87, and two on the teardrop over Jared Dillinger and Rey Guevarra that gave them the win.
Gary David led the Bolts with 23 points, but missed a contested mid-range jumper that could’ve tied the game down the stretch.
Cliff Hodge added 13 markers, including three on a three-pointer that knotted the count at 90, which, however, set the stage for Lastimosa’s heroics.
Blackwater 92 - Erram 14, Cervantes 12, Cortez 12, Gamalinda 12, Sena 12, Lastimosa 11, Agovida 9, Canada 3, Reyes 3, Ballesteros 2, Dela Cruz 2, Vosotros 0.
Meralco 90 - David 23, Dillinger 15, Hodge 13, Al-hussaini 10, Alapag 7, Guevarra 7, Newsome 7, Hugnatan 4, Buenafe 2, Caram 2, Amer 0, Faundo 0, Nabong 0.
Quarterscores: 26-16; 48-33; 69-63; 92-90.