PBA: Blackwater banks on Mac Belo for breakthrough win

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2017 06:29 PM | Updated as of Dec 29 2017 07:17 PM

Mac Belo knocked down 5 triples for Blackwater. PBA Images

Blackwater scored a franchise first when it took down the Rain Or Shine, 92-87, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.

It was the Elite’s first ever win over the Elasto Painters in 11 games, and their first at Cuneta Astrodome.

A healthy Mac Belo scored 25 points, spiked with 5 triples, to go with 7 rebounds.

Mike DiGregorio added 23 points, while Raymar Jose and Allein Maliksi chipped in 12 and 10.

“Nakikinig lang kami lagi kay coach na always focus on defense. Iyon talaga ang nagpanalo sa amin sa game na ito,” said Belo, who spent his rookie season mostly recovering from injury.

Blackwater’s defense in the perimeter was particularly successful as they held Rain or Shine to 29% 3-point shooting. The Elite, on the other hand, were more successful from rainbow country, connecting 40% of their attempts.

The victory was a good bounceback for Blackwater, which lost a tight match against Meralco, 103-98.

“It feels good to win. The big thing is we won together,” said DiGregorio. “We got a lot of guys who did the scoring, I'm glad we did it together.”

The Elite were aggressive from the get-go, posting a quick 12-2 lead in the first quarter. 

Rain Or Shine regained its bearings and claimed a 28-25 advantage going into the second quarter. But Blackwater reclaimed the lead and it became a close fight since then.

In the fourth, Belo began asserting himself.

His dagger 3 with 1:39 remaining proved to be Blackwater’s killer blow against Rain Or Shine.

It was Blackwater’s first victory in the Philippine Cup. Rain or Shine, which fell to 1-1, got 14 points from Chris Tiu. 

Gabe Norwood and Ed Daquioag added 13 each for the Elasto Painters. 

The 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.

Quarters: 25-28, 47-44, 65-64, 92-87.

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