Henry Walker unloaded a game-high 35 points, 17 rebounds and five assists as Blackwater came from behind to squeak past San Miguel Beer, 103-100, for its straight win in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Trailing by eight entering the fourth, the Elite picked itself up and came through in winning time to outduel the Beermen when it mattered.
A game-turning 10-4 run in the latter part of the fourth, following an 88-all standstill, enabled Blackwater to build a 98-92 advantage with 3:29 left after a Walker triple capped the spurt.
San Miguel continued to fight back and had an opportunity to tie and send the game to overtime after inching closer, 100-103, with 19 seconds left and ball in hand.
The Beermen actually had two chances, but Arizona Reid and Arwind Santos both botched potential game-tying triples in the final possession, preventing overtime and allowing the Elite to complete its impressive victory.
Everytime San Miguel rallied in the final three minutes with baskets, Blackwater protected its lead by answering right back with key hits of its own to preserve the win.
The Elite, now at 2-0, is slowly establishing itself as a giant-killer as its two wins came against the Beermen and TNT KaTropa, both perennial contenders.
As of this report, Blackwater is tied for first place with idle Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra, both at 2-0 as well. However, the Gin Kings can gain sole possession of the top spot as they are going for a third straight win against Northport, as of the moment.
Mike DiGregorio did his job of providing offensive support for Blackwater, hitting four triples on his way to 21 points while Nards Pinto nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and seven dimes.
San Miguel entered the fourth carrying an 82-74 lead after a solid third quarter showing but it was unable to finish strong in the final 12 minutes as Blackwater stole its thunder.
Reid finished with a team-high 26 points for San Miguel but he went scoreless in the payoff period after being saddled with foul trouble.
Blackwater 103—Walker 35, Digregorio 21, Pinto 15, Erram 10, Zamar 8, Maliksi 6, Jose 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Belo 2, Cortez 0, Sumang 0.
San Miguel Beer 100—Reid 26, Standhardinger 20, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 12, Nabong 12, Heruela 7, Ross 6, Santos 4.
Quarters: 27-25, 43-46, 74-82, 103-100.