Blackwater posted a convincing 115-103 triumph over GlobalPort on Sunday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Import Malcolm Rhett and veteran point guard Mike Cortez delivered a rousing performance to help the Elite stop a two-game slump leading to a 3-3 win-loss record.
“The players just responded very well to the challenge especially Rhett who followed my instruction offensively and defensively,” Blackwater coach Leo Isaac said.
Rhett produced a game-high 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting in the field to go along with 13 rebounds and three steals, while Cortez racked up 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting plus seven assists and four rebounds to lead the Elite.
Rookie Arthur Dela Cruz added 16 points and seven rebounds, while forward Reil Cervantes contributed 13 points and Carlo Lastimosa chipped in 12 points despite shooting an atrocious 4-of-17 overall in the field also for Blackwater.
After the game ended at 27-all deadlock in the first period, the Elite used their strong zone defense to stop the Batang Pier from picking up points and Rhett led Blackwater’s 35-24 uprising in the second quarter to provide them with a 62-51 lead at halftime.
Blackwater sustained its blistering surge in the third period to maintain a good lead, 87-79, at the start of fourth frame.
The Elite were never threatened from there on.
GlobalPort’s hardworking import Calvin Warner finished with 26 points and 22 rebounds plus six assists, while guards Terrence Romeo and Jonathan Uyloan added 17 and 15 points, res¬pec¬tively. But their efforts were not enough to lift the Batang Pier to victory.
It was also GlobalPort’s third straight defeat.
GlobalPort though missed also the service of the injured Stanley Pringle for the second time due to a sprained right ankle.
Despite being out-rebounded by the Batang Pier (45-53), the Elite led in the assists category (21-17).
In the second game, Star Hotshots outplayed Talk ‘N Text, 96-88, to earn their second win in six games.
The Tropang Texters suffered their fourth loss for a 2-4 card.
JOSEF T. RAMOS