Import Greg Smith delivered a solid per-formance as Blackwater beat GlobalPort, 118-113, halting a four-game slide in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Saturday.
Smith’s fourth-quarter explosion helped the Elite grab their first win in five matches. He tallied 40 points, 19 rebounds and four assists.
“After four heartbreaking losses, we were able to hold our own,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac. “Hopefully it could boost our morale. I’m still not satisfied with what we’ve played today.”
Guard Mike Digregorio added 18 points; Reil Cervantes had 14 points while James Sena contributed 10 points also for the Elite, who improved their record to 1-4.
Terrence Romeo notched 35 points highlighted by a career-high nine triples but he was held down to just six points in the fourth period.
Batang Pier’s new import Malcolm White, who replaced Sean Williams, debuted with 33 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks but his superb effort was not enough to save the Batang Pier from suffering their fourth straight loss in as many games.
Romeo had 24 in the first 24 minutes of the game but the game was tied at 57-all heading to the second half.
White and veteran Mike Cortez combined for 25 points in the third period as GlobalPort took an 86-75 lead with 3:29 left in the third.
The Elite unloaded a telling 13-4 salvo highlighted by Smith’s dunk to seize the advantage, 101-99, with still 7:59 to go in the fourth quarter. Smith’s jumper in the last 2:49 remaining handed the Elite a 114-105 lead, but the Batang Pier still threatened at 113-114 after Romeo’s trey with 1:11 left.
A basket by Smith and Digregorio’s two free throws gave the Elite some breathing space, 118-113. Romeo muffed back-to-back three-pointers in the dying seconds, allowing Blackwater to escape with the win.
Meanwhile, the undefeated Star eyes a fifth consecutive victory as it battles Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at 6:45 p.m. tonight. TNT KaTropa faces Mahindra in the first game at 4:30 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Hotshots are holding a 4-0 win-loss record while the Gin Kings carry a 1-1 card. The KaTropa, who are coming off an impressive 126-121 come-from-behind overtime triumph over Northern Luzon Expressway last Friday, hold a 3-1 slate.
The Floodbuster are 1-4.
BLACKWATER 118 – Smith 40, Digregorio 18, Cervantes 14, Sena 10, Pinto 9, Buenafe 9, Canaleta 7, Sumang 5, Gamalinda 3, Aguilar 2, Cruz 1, Pascual 0.
GLOBALPORT 113 – Romeo 35, White 33, Pringle 13, Cortez 13, Quinahan 7, Pennisi 5, Pessumal 3, Ababou 2, Aban 2, Forrester 0, Mamaril 0.
Quarter scores: 31-26, 57-57, 88-95, 118-113