Elite seek historic semis slot vs top seed Bolts

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Blackwater shoots for its first ever semifinals berth at 7 p.m. tonight as it clashes with No. 1 seed Meralco in a do-or-die quarterfinals duel of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

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After escaping the No. 1 Bolts in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, 92-91, the No. 8 Elite aims to score a monumental upset and bag a semifinal seat for the first time since entering the league three years ago.

Coach Leo Isaac of Blackwater expects a different Meralco team, however.

Henry Bill Walker of Blackwater PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

“They will make the necessary adjustments and we are ready. Again, we will go all-out for a win tomorrow (Thursday) against Meralco to make it to the semifinals,” Isaac told The Manila Times.

Import Henry Bill Walker, who led the Elite to reach the playoffs with a 5-6 win-loss record. Walker notched 19 of his 30 points on top of his 18 rebounds and six assists, while Mike Digregorio poured in 20 points in that game against Meralco.

But it was Allein Maliksi who delivered the two crucial jumpers in the dying seconds to seal Blackwater’s win.

Luckily for Meralco, the team is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage after finishing the elims with a 9-2 win-loss record.

The Bolts hope to bounce back from that loss and move forward to the best-of-five semifinals round.

Meanwhile, big man June Mar Fajardo strengthens his bid for a possible fourth straight Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after topping the Statistical Points (SPs) with 38.4.

Fajardo’s teammates Alex Cabagnot is running second with 33.5 SPs., and Arwind Santos fourth with 31.5. GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo is third with 32.0, Beermen Chris Ross is seventh with 30.7, Marcio Lassiter is in 11th with 29.9, TNT’s Jayson Castro is fifth with 31.1, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Japeth Aguilar is sixth with 31.0. GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle (30.6), Meralco’s Chris Newsome (30.2) and Alaska’s Calvin Abueva (30.1) are in eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

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