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    After promising start, Blackwater faces anxious wait as playoff bid suddenly in jeopardy

    Jan 25, 2017
    Art dela Cruz's 23 points went for naught for skidding Blackwater. Jerome Ascano

    IF Blackwater had a civil status now, it would be “it’s complicated.”

    Art dela Cruz lamented Blackwater’s lost opportunity to clinch  a playoff berth outright as it ended the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations with a 111-95 loss to Star on Wednesday night.

    Once enjoying second spot with a 4-2 win-loss record, the Elite started to unravel as they lost four of their last five games, including two straight to finish at 5-6, leaving their destiny in the hands of their opponents.

    “Ayaw talaga namin ng complication, pero nandito na kami sa situation na ibang team na naka-depende,” Dela Cruz said. “Sayang, dapat iwas na sana. Hintay na lang kami ng results ng games.”

    [See More than scoring explosion, Maliksi prouder of defense on Belo]

    The Elite dropped to ninth spot – outside the postseason circle of eight, hoping other teams to finish with the same record to force a playoff for the final spot.

    Dela Cruz tried to lift the Elite offensively as he registered a team-high 23 points on top of six boards, two assists, and one steal, but found little help outside of Roi Sumang, John Pinto, and Ronjay Buenafe.

    “We were prepared, kaso (dapat) team effort talaga,” the new Gilas call-up said.

    On defense, dela Cruz rued the Elite failed to limit Paul Lee and Allein Maliksi.

    “Focus talaga namin is defense, kaso hindi namin nagawa,” Dela Cruz said. “Nag-adjust kami during the game, pero ‘to namin napigil si Paul Lee at si Allein.” 

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    Art dela Cruz's 23 points went for naught for skidding Blackwater. Jerome Ascano
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