Stepheson, Parks lead Blackwater past slumping Columbian for 3-0 start

The Blackwater Elite remained on top of the heap this early into the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup by turning back slumping Columbian Dyip, 118-110, Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alex Stepheson continued to wreck havoc inside by paint by leading the Elite with 26 points, 21 rebounds and 7 blocked shots while rookie sensation Bobby Ray Parks Jr. tallied his 3rd straight 20-point game with 23 to go along with 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block.

The victory enabled Blackwater to stay on top of the team standings with a 3-0 card.

“The challenge was really to get this win. I reminded the guys that we have to take care of business from the get go until the final buzzer,” said Blackwater interim coach Aris Dimaunahan.

“We know for a fact that Columbian can win games here. If you slack against them, they’ll going to step on you. Congratulations to our guys for not letting that happen,” added the former PBA player.

Up by only a point, 106-105, with still three minutes left in the match, the Elite uncorked 7 straight points to establish a more comfortable 8-point spread with only a minute remaining on the game clock.

Aside from the remarkable performances of Stepheson and Parks, Mac Belo and Allein Maliksi turned in valuable contributions with 19 markers apiece.

Kyle Barone, who is rumored to be on the way out, paced the Dyip with 21 points and 14 boards. Rashawn McCarthy added 20 while last year’s top overall pick CJ Perez contributed 17 in his first meeting with Parks.

The scores:

Blackwater 118 – Stepheson 26, Parks 23, Belo 19, Maliksi 19, Sumang 11, Digregorio 9, Tratter 5, Al-Hussaini 2, Javier 2, Alolino 2, Cortez 0, Sena 0, Banal 0, Dario 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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