Five days after posting its first back-to-back victory in the league, Blackwater aims for a third straight win when it battles the winless Star Hotshots today in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Elite will face the Hotshots at 4:15 p.m. before the Talk ‘N Text vs Alaska match at 7 p.m.
“It’s really tough to face a winless team which is strong. I reminded my players to forget what they did the last time. If you scored 39 points or even higher the last game, you have to set aside it because tomorrow is brand new day, a brand new game,” said coach Leo Isaac of the Elite.
After losing their opening game, 102-108 to Talk ‘N Text, the Elite beat the Mahindra 110-102 before defeating Alaska 107-101 on Friday to improve their win-loss record to 2-1.
Blackwater import Michael Rhett established a triple-double posting 18 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists while teammates Carlo Lastimosa and Reil Cervantes contributed 24 and 21 points each, respectively, during that game against the Aces.
“I really don’t know where that 10 assists came from. But if he’ll do it again that we’ll be equivalent to 20 points,” added Isaac. “It was really amazing and I’m hoping we will do it again against the Star Hotshots.”
Bam Bam Gamalinda, Jeric Canada, Mike Cortez, JP Erram, rookie Arthur Dela Cruz and Rafi Reyes are expected step up for the Elite.
Hotshots import 6’8 Denzel Bowles is expected to lead the team in its hunt for its first victory this season with the help of James Yap, Allein Maliksi, Mark Barroca and Ian Sangalang.
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text will be parading the 6’9 David Simon who is the replacement for Ivan Johnson who was suspended for one season and fined P150,000 for cursing at PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa during the February 13 game against sister-team Meralco.
On the other side, Alaska will be parading Shane Edwards as substitute for Rob Dozier who is nursing a foot injury.
“Tomorrow we get to play against the defending champions of this conference, Talk ‘N Text,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. “They are one of the most potent offensive teams in the league, have a multi titled coach, and a strong new import. It will be interesting to see how the import matchups affect the game since both of us will be featuring new imports who just arrived in the past couple of days.”