|Stephon Blair powers his way to the basket against James Farr. Blair suited up for the Blackwater Elite despite the jet lag. PBA Images|
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong
PASAY CITY - The Blackwater Elite needed extra 5 minutes to walk away with a win against the Magnolia Hotshots, 104-99, in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on a Friday night.
Roy Sumang sizzled with 19 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists to lead all scorers of the Elites.
Living up to how they always want to start a ballgame, the Hotshots sizzled right at the opening tip, with Kyle Pascual drawing first blood.
Paul Lee then scored back-to-back three-pointers to allow the Hotshots to lead by 6, 19-13, and set the pace of the game.
However, Blackwater was able to chase the lead and eventually sealed the end of the opening quarter with both teams tied at 23-all.
Magnolia took the second quarter and surged in order to outscore Blackwater; 20-16.
Stephon Blair could have ended the quarter with a tie but Paul Lee's triple prevented it to close the half with a 43-39 lead.
At the resumption of play off the halftime break, both teams were exchanging baskets after baskets and leads after leads.
Mike DiGregorio's back-to-back triples gave the edge for the Elite only to be chased down by the Hotshots, beginning with Rome dela Rosa's free throw off a foul from Allein Maliksi.
Dela Rosa made both free throws to tie the ball game, over 5 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini closed the quarter off with another deadlock at 61-all.
It was again a story of surges and lead changes in the fourth period that eventually resulted to a tie at the end of regulation, 84-all.
At the first minute of the overtime, both teams fired triples coming from Maliksi and Mark Barroca but it proved to be the last time that Blackwater and Magnolia would be in a tie as the Elite, through the efforts of Sumang, safely sailed away.
After Sumang scored a basket, he was able to fish a foul from James Farr after he was able to pick up an offensive rebound off a miss by Blair.
Sumang made both free throws to extend Blackwater's lead to 4 points, 91-87.
As if it was not enough, Sumang scored a triple off a pass coming from Blair's offensive rebound to hand over a 7-point advantage to the Elite.
"I have to commend our players for playing really well during the entire game. Sobrang close nung game pero never silang bumitaw, they stuck to the game plan in both ends of the floor, we're so happy to get our 6th win. It's been a while since we've won a ball game and it feels good to finally get another win after two games na tambak kami. Credit goes to our players, especially to our local guys for helping stuff on Blair," says Blackwater Head Coach Aries Dimaunahan.
Dimaunahan admitted that changing their import in the middle of the conference took its toll on the team but glad that Blair stepped up despite the lack of time to prepare for the game.
"Our import also [Blair] deserves our credit for just being out there and helping out in getting those blocks and getting those rebounds for us. He was huge today, I have to give him credit also for playing hard tonight," Dimaculangan added.
Blackwater also spoiled Magnolia's winning streak, which was at 4.
Follow her on Twitter: @_ichbinxyzha