Blackwater beats GlobalPort for first time ever as Cortez, Rhett deliver the goods
Blackwater import MJ Rhett cuts loose for a two-handed dunk. Jerome Ascano

BLACKWATER finally figured out one of its previously unsolvable puzzles as it outdueled GlobalPort, 115-103, to move back above water in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Elite outran the Batang Pier and found holes in their opponents’ zone defense as they rolled to their first victory in three outings to jack up their win-loss record to 3-3.

Mike Cortez made a rousing return from injury, facilitating the Elite’s offense with aplomb with 22 points and seven assists, while import MJ Rhett anchored down low with 30 points and 13 boards for Blackwater, which beat GlobalPort for the first time in franchise history after four losses.

“Naka-isa na kami sa kanila,” Elite coach Leo Isaac said. “Unti-unti, nakakatikim kami ng panalo sa mga more established teams ng liga. Sana magtuloy-tuloy lang ang development.”

That reduced the list of the Elite’s opponents they haven’t beaten have yet to just Rain or Shine, Star, Tropang TNT, and NLEX.

The victory also served as a present for Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy, who celebrated his 58th birthday on Sunday.

“It’s a must-win daw sabi ni boss,” Isaac said. “Somehow it rubbed on the players.”

While they put an end to their skid, the Elite compounded the Batang Pier’s woes as their victims suffered a third straight loss to fall to 2-4.

Already without injured Stanley Pringle, the Batang Pier also missed his backcourt partner Terrence Romeo in the third quarter to rest a minor calf injury.

Romeo returned in the fourth, but it proved too little too late. The Batang Pier star finished with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting and four boards against six turnovers and zero assist in 21 minutes.


The scores:

BLACKWATER 115 – Rhett 30, Cortez 22, Dela Cruz 16, Cervantes 13, Lastimosa 12, Gamalinda 9, Reyes 7, Bulawan 2, Erram 2, Tiongson 2

GLOBALPORT 103 – Warner 26, Romeo 17, Uyloan 15, Jensen 12, Taha 12, Kramer 8, Semerad 7, Mamaril 5, Washington 1, Fortuna 0, Maierhofer 0

Quarterscores: 27-27, 62-51, 87-79, 115-103.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos