Belo sizzles as Blackwater stuns ROS in year-end clash

Mac Belo is on his A-game again. PBA Media Bureau

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Mac Belo sizzled as Blackwater ended 2017 with its first win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, a 92-87 victory over Rain Or Shine at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay on Friday night.

Belo came alive in the fourth quarter, especially when the Elite found themselves in a hole with a little over eight minutes to play.

The Elasto Painters began the fourth quarter on a hot trail, going on an 8-0 run to go up, 72-67, with 8:58 remaining.

Belo then came to work, scoring six of his nine fourth quarter points to help Blackwater open an 87-82 lead with 2:49 to play.

Beau Belga converted on a three-point play to cut the lead down to two, 87-85, with 1:51 to go, but Belo fired a back-breaking triple that upped the lead again to five with 1:39 to go.

Ed Daquioag drained two free throws that kept ROS in the game even as the team had a chance to force overtime as Gabe Norwood picked a Mike DiGregorio pass.

Norwood, however, lost the ball in the process, and DiGregorio made up for the turnover with two free throws that turned out to be the daggers for the game.

Belo finished with 25 points with seven rebounds, one assist, and one steal, while DiGregorio added 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, three rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the Elite, which joined its victim at 1-1 entering the New Year break.

Chris Tiu led ROS with 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

Box Scores:

Blackwater 92-Belo 25, Digregorio 23, Jose 13, Maliksi 10, Erram 8, Pinto 7, Sumang 5, Sena 2, Marcelo 0

Rain or Shine 87-Tiu 14, Norwood 13, Daquioag 13, Almazan 10, Maiquez 8, Belga 7, Borboran 6, Yap 5, Trollano 4, King 3, Ponferada 2, Nambatac 2

Quarterscores: 25-28, 47-44, 65-64, 92-87

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