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    Blackwater opens PBA on Tour campaign with win over NLEX

    Bossing open preseason on winning note
    May 21, 2023
    tyrus hill nlex vs blackwater
    PHOTO: pba images

    BLACKWATER survived a spirited NLEX comeback to hack out a 93-88 win in the opening game of the PBA On Tour at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

    Diminutive guard RK Ilagan led from the front for the Bossing by scoring five of the team's last seven points, including the two marginal free throws.

    Before Ilagan's heroics, the Road Warriors threatened for the last time at 88-85 on back-to-back Sean Anthony baskets.

    Norbert Torres NLEX vs Blackwater


    Mike Ayonayon topscored with 16 points and Rey Suerte with 14 for Blackwater, which played without major players Troy Rosario and JVee Casio.

    Deputy Joe Silva said head coach Jeff Cariaso decided not to play the two at the start of the league's two-month preseason games even if both are healthy.

    "Coach Jeff told us na ipahinga na lang muna si Troy and JVee. But no injuries to them," said Silva, who called the shots while Cariaso is still in the US.


      But even without Rosario and Casio, the Bossing played well on both ends of the floor and even led by as much as 49-31 in the second quarter.

      NLEX however, came alive in the second half where Anthony scored 16 of his team-high 18 points.

      The veteran forward hit six straight points including two free throws off the first ever coaching challenge applied in a PBA game that allowed the Road Warriors to come within three with 2:19 left.

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      Ilagan however, set up Joshua Torralba for a layup and then sank two free throws following an NLEX turnover to secure the win.

      Ilagan finished with nine points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

      Anthony nine rebounds for NLEX, which also got a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds from Don Trollano and 13 and 10 from Cavitex 3x3 players Bong Galanza and Dominic Fajardo.

      The Road Warriors also missed the services of Matt Nieto, Anthony Semerad, and Gilas Pilipinas member Brandon Ganuelas Rosser.

      The scores:

      Blackwater (93) - Ayonayon 16, Suerte 14, Ilagan 9, Sena 9, Hill 8, Torralba 8, Ular 6, Digregorio 5, Amer 5, Taha 5, Publico 4, McCarthy 3,Banal 1

      NLEX (88) - Anthony 18, Trollano 15, Galanza 13, Fajardo 10, Alas 8, Rosales 7, Doliguez 5, Rangel 4, Miranda 3, Gabo 3, Pascual 2, Celda 0.

      Quarterscores: 23-18; 49-36; 74-69; 93-88.

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      PHOTO: pba images
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