MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) Blackwater Elite extended its perfect start to three games after defeating Columbian Dyip, 118-110, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Import Alex Stepheson was superb once more, putting up 26 points, 21 rebounds, and 7 blocks, while rookie Ray Parks Jr. tallied 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists to earn Player of the Game honors.
Mac Belo (19 points) and Allein Maliksi (19) also reached double-digits for Blackwater, while Roi Sumang added 11 points for the now 3-0 Elite.
"We reminded the guys that we have to take care of business from the get go," said Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan. "If you slack against (Columbian Dyip), they're gonna step on you. Congrats to our guys for not letting that happen."
The Elite struggled to pull away from Columbian Dyip, taking just a 57-54 lead at the break. They appeared to have broken the game open in the third period, as back-to-back triples by Sumang pushed them ahead by 10, 89-79, entering the final quarter.
But Columbian Dyip opened the fourth frame with a 13-5 exchange to make it a one-possession game, 94-92, with 8:11 left. Stepheson took charge inside at that point, making back-to-back dunks before Parks drilled a triple for a 104-98 advantage.
Again, however, Columbian stayed close. A three-pointer by Kyle Barrone made it a one-point game, 106-105, with 3:50 to go in the game.
The Dyip simply had no answer for Stepheson, however. The burly import scored 5 straight points, before Parks made it an 8-point game, 113-105, with a pair of freebies with just 68 seconds left. Parks then assisted on the dagger triple by Belo with 46 seconds to play.
"I'm happy with what we've done, getting three wins," said Dimaunahan. "Hopefully, we can build on it and get to the next level of playing hard and smart basketball."
The loss dropped Columbian Dyip to 0-3 in the conference.
Barrone finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 turnovers, while Rashawn McCarthy had 20 points and CJ Perez put up 17 points and 7 boards.
However, the Dyip were undone by their 20 turnovers that Blackwater converted to 26 points. In contrast, the Elite took care of the ball, committing just 9 turnovers in the game.
BLACKWATER 118 -- Stepheson 26, Parks 23, Belo 19, Maliksi 19, Sumang 11, DiGregorio 9, Tratter 5, Alolino 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Javier 2, Cortez 0, Banal 0, Dario 0, Sena 0.
COLUMBIAN 110 - Barone 21, McCarthy 20, Perez 17, Khobuntin 10, Celda 10, Camson 7, Cabrera 6, Escoto 6, Faundo 4, Calvo 4, Cahilig 3, Corpuz 2, Gabriel 0.
Quarterscores: 28-26, 57-54, 89-79, 118-110
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