BLACKWATER seeks to end a grueling schedule this week on a high note as it battles GlobalPort in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Still licking their wounds from a 92-83 loss to TNT Katropa on Wednesday night that negated their 94-77 upset victory over Ginebra last Friday, the weary Elite return to action just two days later against the Batang Pier for their third game in seven days.
Allein Maliksi felt the effects of fatigue, scoring just nine points after making just four of his 15 shots in almost 32 minutes off the bench against the Texters.
He later admitted that the hectic schedule has taken its toll.
“Medyo, medyo (it’s a concern), kasi pagod ngayon eh,” Maliksi said ahead of their 4:30 p.m. encounter. “Sana maka-recover right away kami para maka-bounce back, kasi yun nga sabi ko, pag natalo kami tonight, sayang yung game namin, yung panalo sa Ginebra, na-cancel out, so kailangan namin manalo sa Friday.”
“Medyo madaming off night. Ako, off night ako,” he added. “Hirap kami maka-shoot, kasi hindi kami maka-execute ng maganda. Hindi kami makakuha ng mga open looks. Puro tough shots. Sana makapag-adjust kami.”
The Elite are aiming to get out of a six-team logjam at 2-2 and get back above .500.
Poy Erram was one of the few bright spots for Blackwater with a near-double-double performance versus the Texters, but the star slotman felt overconfidence got the better of the Elite, as unit, against TNT after they managed to topple the title-contending Gin Kings.
Maliksi is hoping the Elite won’t let their guard down against the Batang Pier, who flashed a semblance of team play behind Stanley Pringle in grabbing their first win in three games with a 78-70 decision over Rain or Shine last Friday without injured superstar Terrence Romeo.
“Mas may flow yung offense nila,” Maliksi observed. “Kasi si Stanley, sobrang nile-lead niya yung Globalport, tapos, kumbaga nagwo-work sila as a group now eh. nakikita ko na, even sila Sean Anthony, ang taas ng assists, rebounds.
"Lahat sila, alam nila yung role nila as a player sa system ni coach Pido, so medyo dangerous team din yung Global.”