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Blackwater scores franchise-best third straight win against Alaska in double OT thriller

By Dugout Philippines

PASAY--A joy for Blackwater, an agony for Alaska.

The Elite survived a huge comeback by the Aces and held steady down the stretch to pull off a thrilling 111-106 victory in double overtime Wednesday night in the PBA Governors Cup.

Back-to-back three-pointers by BamBam Gamalinda and Mike Digregorio inside the final two minutes of the second extra period restored order for the Elite, who lost grip of an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter and paved the way for the dramatic two overtime plays.

Roi Sumang then added two free throws with 6.5 seconds left for a 109-106 lead that ensured Blackwater’s first ever three-game winning streak in franchise history since coming into the league in 2014.

Import Henry Walker torched his former team for 35 points (5 of 11 three-pointers) and 32 rebounds, Digregorio had 17, and Gamalinda with 15 as the Elite are now at .500 with a 3-3 record. The team has yet to lose since Walker replaced the injured Trevis Simpson.

“This victory is going to be somewhat special for us because it’s the first three-game winning streak for the franchise since entering the PBA,” said an ecstatic Leo Isaac after the game at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“For sure our management led by Mr. Dioceldo Sy would be very happy,” he said of the Blackwater team owner, who is currently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 29th Southeast Asian Games where he serves as the top backer of the Perlas Pilipinas team.

“I have nothing but respect for coach Compton and the rest of the guys,” said Walker of the Aces, his former teammates after playing for the franchise during the 2014 Governors Cup.

Walker’s output is also the first 30-30 point output in the league since Greg Smith had 37 points and 30 rebounds also for Blackwater in the last Commissioner’s Cup.

The Elite outrebounded the Aces, 80-60, and extended their hot shooting from three-point range after converting 15 of 34 from downtown. They had 17 three-pointers in their 107-106 win over NLEX the last time.

It was another heartbreaker of a loss for Alaska, which has yet to register a win in five outings this conference. The longest losing streak in franchise history has also been extended to 13 long games.

But as had been the case in the past, Alaska didn’t go down without a fight.

Trailing 79-68, the Aces battled back behind veterans Sonny Thoss, JVee Casio, and LaDontae Henton to forge the first overtime at 91-all.

Henton topscored for the team with 31 points and 10 rebounds and made possible the second overtime period, 97-97.

The Aces were still in the game after Casio hit the team’s eight and final three-pointer, 106-104, before Digregorio answered with his own trey and put the Elite in front for good.

Casio complemented Walker with 25 points, Simon Enciso with 11 points, and the duo of Chris Banchero and Thoss with 10 each.

“We came short tonight and that’s a good team that’s really playing well with a good import,” said Henton of Blackwater.

Box Scores:

Blackwater 111-Walker 35, DiGregorio 17, Gamalinda 15, Erram 13, Canaleta 9, Cruz 8, Pinto 6, Sumang 4, Sena 2, Miranda 2, Aguilar 0, K. Pascual 0

Alaska 106-Henton 31, Casio 25, Enciso 11, Banchero 10, Thoss 10, Manuel 6, Baclao 6, Galliguez 3, Exciminiano 2, Mendoza 2, Hontiveros 0, Racal 0

Quarterscores: 25-13, 44-40, 68-60, 91-91, 97-97, 111-106

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