BLACKWATER turned to a balanced effort not just on offense, but also on the other, unglamourous end of the floor, in their 83-78 win over Phoenix in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.
While Poy Erram controlled the boards and blocked Jeff Chan's late three-point attempt that could've pulled the Fuel Masters to within a point, another Blackwater starter also delivered on the defense end.
John Pinto made a handful of stops down the stretch, playing stingy defense twice on Gelo Alolino, including forcing a jumpball that gave the Elite an extra possession.
"Yun naman trabaho ko sa team eh, yung binibigay sa akin ni coach kaya nandun ako sa loob kasi para dumipensa," Pinto said. "Parang nagawa ko naman yung trabaho ko so ayun masaya si coach."
The former Arellano standout, who finished with five points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 25 minutes, made sure to leave everything on the floor as the Elite fought for dear life.
"Kaya nga sabi ni coach at least may chance tayo, kung natalo kami wala na kaming chance," Pinto said. "Ngayon kahit 'di namin hawak yung ano namin sa playoffs, at least may chance kami na pumasok sa playoffs."
If the Elite do advance, Pinto is hoping they can continue to show poise in the endgame of tight matches like the one against Phoenix.
"Siguro maturity na lang kasi everytime sa fourth quarter dun kami bumibigay eh," the Davao native said. "Maraming games na dun kami bumibigay so ayun kailangan maturity."