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Surging Elite shock Beermen for 2nd straight Govs Cup win

Poy Errram returned to Blackwater with aplomb as it pulled an upset over San Miguel. PBA Media Bureau. 
By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA—Blackwater doused cold water on the spirited San Miguel uprising in the endgame for a 103-100 victory in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Behind a game-ending heroics of Henry Walker and Poy Erram, the Elite fended the challenge by the Beermen as it scored its second straight win in the season-ending tournament.

This doubled its winning total after a dismal 1-10 record in the Commissioner’s Cup.

The Ever Bilena franchise overcame a 10-point second-half deficit and even took a 101-95 lead on Walker’s three-point play with 2:30 left to play.

But the Beermen crawled back with rookie Christian Standhardinger connecting on an under stab to trim the gap to 101-97, then Marcio Lassiter drilled a three-pointer for 101-100, 34 ticks remaining.

That set the stage for Erram, who coolly sank his two freebies off a Standhardinger foul. AZ Reid and Arwind Santos had some chances to send the game into overtime, but missed their respective three-point attempts.

Walker won the import battle with Reid as the NBA vet scored a game-high 35 points, 21 in the second half, to go along with 17 rebounds, seven steals, and five assists.

Mike DiGregorio followed suit with 21, while Nard Pinto had 15 with nine boards and seven assists for Blackwater, which shot 12-of-23 (46 percent) from three-point range.

Erram made his triumphant return with a near double-double of 10 points and nine rebounds.

"That’s the game plan, we want to play defense. If we can play defense end of the game and if we can stay close, we can salvage an upset," said winning coach Bong Ramos.

“Akala ko nga iiwanan na kami kanina. But the good thing lang dun is that the character of the team was there na wala kami last conference."

Reid finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds on 10-of-24 shooting for SMB, still missing the services of injured big man June Mar Fajardo. Standhardinger chipped in 20, even as Lassiter issued 13.

The Elite hope to sustain the momentum as the league takes a 12-day respite to give way to the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. 

The scores:

Blackwater 103 - Walker 35, Digregorio 21, Pinto 15, Erram 10, Zamar 8, Maliksi 6, Jose 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Belo 2, Cortez 0, Sumang 0.

San Miguel 100 - Reid 26, Standhardinger 20, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 12, Nabong 12, Heruela 7, Ross 6, Santos 4.

Quarterscores: 27-25, 43-46, 74-82, 103-100.

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