Baser Amer’s jumper in the last two seconds pushed the Blackwater Elite Bossings to a thrilling 91-89 triumph over the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters on Friday in the 2022 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Amer’s chance to score his only basket in the final period came after Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser caught a rebound off a missed triple by Matthew Wright in the final seven seconds.
The victory was the Bossings’ fifth in six games and it was an emotional one for coach Ariel Vanguardia.
“Masyado kong na-fired up ang mga players. Gigil sila from the start,” said Vanguardia as the Bossings picked up their fourth consecutive victory.
The Bossings, led by Renato Ular with a career-high 34 points and 10 rebounds, are now behind the solo-leading San Miguel Beermen (7-1), and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings (6-1).
Ular’s trey in the 1:57 mark saw the Bossings keeping a slim 86-85 lead.
Vanguardia’s squad is seeking to match or even surpass the franchise’s best-ever elimination round finish in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup when it registered a 7-4 win-loss record.
Ganuelas-Rosser drilled in 16 points for the Bossings, who forced four of five deadlocks in the last canto.
Yousef Taha tied the game for the last time with his two charities in the last 25 seconds, 89-all.
Jason Perkins unloaded 22 points for the Fuel Masters, who fell behind at 2-3.
Wright shot 15 points with Tyler Tio, and gave the Fuel Masters the upper hand in the last 1:20, 89-86.
Blackwater is an entirely different case following a 4-1 start to the tournament that more than erased the bitter memories of last season, when it could only win one game after losing a league-worst 29 straight.
After losing two straight games that relegated them to a 2-5 record and a tie for eighth spot, the Fuel Masters are hard-pressed to come up with the needed wins just to keep alive their hopes of gaining inclusion among the eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals.
Still, there is no letting up for Vanguardia and his crew as they set out to at least keep their current third-running spot and from there match or even surpass the franchise’s best-ever elimination round finish in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup when it notched a 7-4 record.