Ray Parks, Alex Stephenson star as Blackwater rolls past Meralco in overtime

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Alex Stepheson led those who made sure Bobby Ray Parks Jr. gets the desired result in his PBA debut.

Stepheson scored 21 points and hauled down 31 rebounds as the Elite squeaked past the Meralco Bolts 94-91 in overtime Sunday at the start of the Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Parks did his part with 20 points on top of eight rebounds. But the No. 2 pick overall in last December’s rookie draft, who had to finish his commitments with Alab Pilipinas in the ABL before coming over, shot 6-for-19 from the field and also committed eight turnovers,

Good thing the likes of Mike Digregorio and Mac Belo were also there to help Blackwater along and start off their campaign under new interim head coach Aris Dimaunahan on a bright note.

Digregorio laced his own 21-point production with two free throws that made it a 93-89 game, seconds after Belo scored on a putback that freed Blackwater up from the game’s last deadlock at 89-all.

Gani Lawal notched a game-high 34 points and 21 rebounds, but he was the lone bright spot for a Meralco squad that got off to a flying start and even led by 11 early, but started fading in the face of unrelenting pressure from Blackwater.

The scores:

Blackwater 94 – Digregorio 21, Stepheson 21, Parks 20, Maliksi 12, Belo 6, Sena 4, Sumang 4, Dario 3, Al-Hussaini 2, Alolino 1, Javier 0, Tratter 0, Cortez 0,

Meralco 91 – Lawal 34, Tolomia 11, Jackson 8, Pinto 7, Newsome 5, Salva 5, Hodge 4, Hugnatan 4, Amer 4, De Ocampo 4, Canaleta 3, Caram 2, Espinas 0, Quinto 0.

Quarterscores: 17-19, 37-42, 64-63, 85-85, 94-91.

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