Marqus Blakely got to a triumphant return with Blackwater, making the most of his matchups just with the Magnolia locals as the Elite topped the Hotshots, 95-89, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena here Wednesday night.
Blakely delivered all-around numbers of 21 points, 13 rebounds, five steals, three assists and one block and drew big help from off-the-bench guys Mark Belo, Mike Digregorio and Rabeh Al-Hussaini as Blackwater bounced back from a loss in their last game where Aaron Fuller temporarily subbed for Blakely.
The Elite took control most of the way versus the Romeo Travis-less Hotshots and improved to 2-3, thus, closing in on the middle-of-the-pack teams, including Magnolia at 3-3.
The Hotshots suffered a second straight loss with coach Chito Victolero opting to keep Travis on the sideline as he’s still nursing an ankle sprain.
Minus Travis, Paul Lee led their brave stand, coming through with a personal conference high of 26 points that went with eight assists, three rebounds and one steal against five turnovers.
Ian Sangalang, Rome dela Rosa and Aldrech Ramos put in double-digit contributions for the Hotshots who put up a stiff challenge but came up short in the end.
Blackwater 95 – Blakely 21, Belo 20, Digregorio 15, Al-Hussaini 12, Cruz 6, Parks 5, Maliksi 5, Desiderio 4, Sena 3, Sumang 2, Jose 2, Cortez 0.
Magnolia 89 – Lee 26, Sangalang 12, Dela Rosa 11, Ramos 10, Melton 9, Barroca 7, Jalalon 6, Pingris 4, Reavis 2, Herndon 2, Brondial 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15, 47-40, 71-66, 95-89