Blackwater pulls off stunner against San Miguel, snaps four-game skid

Allein Maliksi played as the facilitator for Blackwater. PBA Media Bureau

By Patrick Sutare

PASAY--Down goes the titan.

Blackwater negated San Miguel's status as favorites in their clash on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome as the Elite dropped the upset ax over the Beermen, 106-96, to snap their four-game losing skid in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Fanning their chances of avoiding another elimination round exit, the Elite stepped up a notch to pull off the shocker next to the defending champs and mark its third win of the tournament.

"We were able to contain their scorers and we held our own offensively against their defense. It's just a good a wake up call after four straight losses," said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.

Playing with more sense of urgency, the once hapless Blackwater slayed SMB with their inside and outside game while neutralizing the latter's usual immovable force named Junemar Fajardo.

The reigning MVP was limited to below his averages as he was visibly weared down by his match-up to post just 12 points on 30 percent shooting in almost 40 minutes of play.

The 28-year old behemoth was dominated black and blue by JP Erram who torched the frontcourt duel by putting up 28 points and 18 boards.

Mike DiGregorio, meanwhile, backed Erram in taking the scoring load as he waxed hot from distance to score a game-high 26 points on five triples, including the back-breaking trey that put the Elite up by nine, 101-92, with just 1:37 left, and the game clincher with 57 seconds left, 106-92. He also had three rebounds and five assists.

Rookie Renz Palma, whom Isaac called as "magic bunot", likewise served notice, being the spark off the bench to account for quality numbers of eight markers, making all but one of his attempts, in just 15 minutes of action.

Allein Maliksi added 11 while Sena had 10.

Arwind Santos came a rebound a shy of a double-double after finishing with a team high 22 points, nine rebounds, two dimes, two steals and two blocks while Chris Ross also stuffed the sheet with 20 markers, nine boards and seven assists as both efforts all went down the drain.

The scores:

Blackwater 106 - Digregorio 26, Erram 24, Maliksi 11, Sena 10, Palma 8, Jose 6, Marcelo 6, Pinto 5, Cortez 5, Cruz 5, Sumang 0, Neypes 0.

San Miguel 96 - Santos 22, Ross 20, Lassiter 13, Fajardo 12, Lanete 9, Rosser 8, Heruela 8, Semerad 2, Agovida 2, Pessumal 0, Mamaril 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarters: 20-27, 43-45, 72-69, 106-96.

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