BLACKWATER turned to its locals when Eric Dawson was in foul trouble, before the import came through when it mattered most as the Elite held off Star, 100-98, to barge into the win column of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Dawson, playing with five fouls, scored the go-ahead scoop shot that negated Allein Maliksi’s gutsy three-pointer despite being outnumbered in transition as the Elite took advantage of the absence of Marqus Blakely due to fouls for most part of the fourth period.
Poy Erram preserved the victory with a block on Maliksi as the Elite dealt the Hotshots their second straight loss.
“It was more of the imports to dominate the game and nawala si Blakely so we had to bring back Dawson and it was a good effort from our local guys nung nasa bench si Dawson,” Elite coach Leo Isaac said.
“It’s good to have this victory after all that’s happened with this team,” Isaac added, referring to the recent death of reserve player Gilbert Bulawan. “It took its toll on us.”
Dawson finished with just 14 points, although he added 11 boards, three blocks, three assists, and one steal as the Filipino crew picked up the slack, led by Erram, who registered 16 points, six boards, three assists, and two blocks in 30 minutes.
Blakely tallied 12 points, 12 boards, six assists, two blocks, and two steals before fouling out with still over nine minutes left in the payoff period.
The Elite looked poised to pounce on the departure of the do-it-all Hotshots import, but still found them a tough nut to crack as the match turned into a virtual all-Filipino duel with Dawson also hobbled by foul trouble.
But it was the Elite import who still delivered the biggest plays down the stretch as Dawson made up for a lackluster showing in the early goings.
BLACKWATER 100 – Erram 16, Canada 14, Dawson 14, Lastimosa 12, Gamalinda 10, Pascual 10, Cortez 9, Sumang 6, Cervantes 5, Melano 4, Dela Cruz 0, Reyes 0, Sena 0, Vosotros 0
STAR 98 – Maliksi 20, Sangalang 18, Blakely 12, Pingris 12, Simon 9, Barroca 8, Yap 8, Mallari 5, Garcia 4, Pascual 2, Brondial 0, Reavis 0
Quarterscores: 22-17, 42-42, 75-75, 100-98