Blackwater wins first-ever PBA game as champ San Miguel Beer dealt another black eye
Gilbert Bulawan celebrates a crucial putback that gave Blackwater the cushion it needed to hold off San Miguel Beer in the gripping endgame. Jerome Ascano

BLACKWATER won its first-ever PBA game in grand style, knocking down heavily favored San Miguel Beer, 80-77, on Wednesday by showing better poise than the newly minted Philippine Cup champions in the endgame.

Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Marcus Douthit stood as a tower of power for Blackwater, who also got big games from unknowns like Bambam Gamalinda, Gilbert Bulawan and Brian Heruela to snap a 14-game losing streak that stretched back to the season-opening all-Filipino tournament.

By moving up to 1-3 (win-loss), the Dioceldo Sy-owned franchise also left the Beermen one of only two winless team in the Commissioner's Cup aside from NLEX. The Beermen also earned the ignominy of becoming the first team to lose both expansion teams, having also lost to KIA Motors.

“After 14 games, going back to the first conference, to finally taste the victory here in the PBA, I have to thank  the good Lord for allowing us to taste victory,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.

“It (win) came a bit late because we really wanted to experience this victory earlier, but we’re still thankful.”

Douthit, a temporary replacement for injured import Chris Charles, finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for an Elite side that drew clutch baskets from players rarely known outside the team.

Gamalinda buried a three-pointer that enabled Blackwater to wrest the lead at 75-72 while Bulawan came up with the biggest shot of the night - a putback of a Robbie Celiz miss that opened an 80-77 lead for the Elite with 10 seconds to go.

San Miguel had three chances to send the game into overtime, but Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter each missed three-point attempts as time expired.

Ronald Roberts led the Beermen with 18 points and 17 rebounds but struggled to stop the much-bigger Douthit. June Mar Fajardo was held to five points and was no longer around in the endgame.


The scores: 

Blackwater 80 - Douthit 20, Heruela 11, Faundo 10, Nuyles 8, Gamalinda 7, Bulawan 6, Salvacion 6, Canada 3, Celiz 3, Ballesteros 2, Laure 2, Acuna 2, Timberlake 0, Reyes 0, Erram 0.

SMB 77 - Roberts 18, Lutz 16, Santos 11, Tubid 9, Cabagnot 5, Lassiter 5, Fajardo 5, Ross 4, Omolon 2, Fortuna 2, Maierhofer 0, Kramer 0, Reyes 0, Semerad 0.

Quarterscores: 11-21, 38-44, 60-52, 80-77


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