Returning Blackwater import Greg Smith vowed after losing the Game 1 that his team will bounce back and take the next 2 games of its quarterfinal series against Rain or Shine. Well, he’s halfway there after the Elite held on this time to pull off a 100-96 Game 2 win, Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Smith made key baskets down the stretch and finished with 31 points and 18 rebounds as the 3rd-seeded Elite forced a winner-take-all match which is set on Thursday, July 25 also at the Big Dome.
The resounding win served as redemption for the Aris Dimaunahan-mentored squad who collapsed in Game 1 and eventually lost the game despite leading by 8 points in the final 1:32.
“They refused to lose. Ayaw pa namin mag-bakasyon and that’s the commitment that we all have that we want to make it to the next phase. But again, it’s not going to be easy especially against a veteran, smart Rain or Shine team,” said Dimaunahan during the post-game conference.
Rookie Ray Parks finished with 28 points while Mac Belo and Mike DiGregorio contributed 14 and 13 markers, respectively.
The Elasto Painters, who played without James Yap and Ed Daquioag, were led by Javee Mocon with 25 points. Mark Borboran and Beau Belga contributed 13 markers apiece while Jayjay Alejandro chipped in 12.
Blackwater 100 – Smith 31, Parks 28, Belo 14, Digregorio 13, Sena 4, Maliksi 3, Javier 3, Desiderio 2, Cortez 2, Sumang 0, Al-Hussaini 0.
Rain or Shine 96 – Mocon 25, Borboran 13, Belga 13, Alejandro 12, Montgomery 11, Rosales 10, Nambatac 9, Ponferada 2, Onwubere 1, Norwood 0.
Quarterscores: 24-15, 38-35, 68-64, 100-96.