LACK of mileage from its bench left Blackwater spiraling to its first back-to-back losses in the PBA Governors Cup.
Coach Bong Ramos lamented the Elite didn’t get enough from its second unit in their 116-109 defeat to the Alaska Aces on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska’s bench outscored Blackwater's, 37-19.
“I think naging problema ko ngayon yung bench. Every time na magro-rotate ako ng player medyo gume-gewang kami. So hindi kami naging consistent,” said Ramos.
Import Henry Walker came away with a triple-double of 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, Mike Digregorio had 20, big man Poy Erram had 18 points and eight rebounds, while three other locals finished in double figures for the Elite.
Still it was not enough for Blackwater to build on a strong start that saw the team laed by as many as 10 early in the first quarter.
“Siyempre kailangan ko ring ipahinga yung mga starters ko,” said Ramos, pointing to one stretch early in the fourth quarter when he was forced to bring back Walker and Erram after the Aces began the period with six unanswered points to stretch a five-point lead to 93-82.
“Pag rotate ko, talagang gume-gewang kami.”
The loss denied the Elite the chance to join idle Magnolia and reigning two-time champion Barangay Ginebra at top of the standings as they fell to 6-3.
Still, the Elite can finish in the Top 4 and gain twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs should it win its last two games in the eliminations starting with Columbian Dyip on Saturday in Binan, Laguna.
The Elite will face the Phoenix Fuel Masters in their final outing.
“May chance pa, kung makuha namin yung dalawa papasok kami sa Top 4,” said the Blackwater mentor.