April 23, 2024

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Blackwater secures 2nd upset victory, TNT Tropang Giga is new victim

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UPSET VICTORY. The Blackwater Bossing posts its second straight upset victory, humbling powerhouse TNT Tropang Giga, 87-76, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, March 2. PBA PHOTO

Blackwater pulled off another upset, securing an 87-76 victory over league powerhouse TNT and seizing the early lead in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Troy Rosario played a pivotal role in the Bossing’s triumph, tallying 20 points while anchoring a robust defensive effort that allowed Blackwater to take control of the game as early as the second quarter. The team managed to post a 20-point fourth-quarter spread before easing up slightly towards the end.

Blackwater coach Jeff Cariaso attributed the success to a true team effort, highlighting the necessity of collective contributions when facing formidable opponents like TNT. 

Despite losing Rey Nambatac, who led their previous stunner over Meralco but suffered an ankle injury early in the game, other players stepped up to fill the void.

RK Ilagan, in particular, delivered an outstanding performance, finishing with 15 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. Christian David added 13 markers, while James Kwekuteye, Bradwyn Guinto, James Yap, and recent acquisition Jaydee Tungcab (four rebounds, five assists) played crucial roles in securing Blackwater’s impressive 2-0 start in the tournament, marking their best beginning since the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.

Cariaso emphasized the playoff-like approach the team adopts in every game, acknowledging the need to maintain a high level of focus, intensity, and energy. With a relatively young team still building chemistry, Cariaso commended the players for their performance and credited their dedication.

Calvin Oftana led TNT with 21 points, but Jayson Castro was the only other player in double figures with 12. The Tropang Giga failed to replicate their previous close win over Rain or Shine, and as coach Chot Reyes feared, they committed similar mistakes, accumulating 23 fouls that resulted in Blackwater attempting 26 free throws.

Despite the Bossing missing eight free throws, their composure in other aspects of the game proved crucial. They went on a decisive 13-0 run, capped by Ilagan’s triple, giving them an 85-65 cushion with only 5:22 left in the game. This victory marks Blackwater as a force to be reckoned with in the early stages of the PBA Philippine Cup, showcasing their potential and determination to compete at a high level.

The boxscores:

Blackwater 87 – Rosario 20, Ilagan 15, David 13, Kwekuteye 9, Guinto 9, Yap 6, Escoto 5, Sena 4, Suerte 3, Hill 2, Tungcab 1, Nambatac 0, Jopia 0.

TNT 76 – Oftana 21, Castro 12, Khobuntin 8, Galinato 8, Ganuelas-Rosser B. 8, Williams 3, Ebona 2, Montalbo 2, Ganuelas-Rosser M. 2 , Aurin 2, Reyes 0, Ponferrada 0.

Quarterscores: 16-17, 39-35, 69-59, 87-76.

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