PENANG- Blackwater tore the game apart in the second quarter behind its torrid outside shooting as the Elite blasted Thailand Pea Basketball Club, 89-76 for its 2nd straight victory in the 2016 Penang Chief Minister Cup International Basketball Invitational Championships Saturday night at the Han Chiang Indoor Stadium here.
Backup guards Raphael Reyes, Juami Tiongson and rookie Almond Vosotros provided the fireworks from beyond the arc, combining for 7 threes in the 2nd quarter alone to turn a slim one-point lead to a 57-39 bubble by halftime.
The Elite dictated the game from there, allowing Blackwater coach Leo Isaac to rest his key starters in time for Sunday’s much-awaited showdown with tournament powerhouse Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank-China.
Zheijang, which placed 8th in the 2016 Chinese Basketball Association, clobbered the Thais, 89-68 on opening day.
“Ang intention namin is i-prepare sila ng maganda para sa game against China and as much as possible, those players na di gaano nakakakuha ng minutes, we want to expose them and yung players with heavy minutes, gusto namin ipahinga,” said Isaac after the game.
“And so far, na-achieve naman namin yung goal namin. Maganda ang pinakita ng mga players.”
Blackwater opened the tournament with a 99-81 demolition of Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology on Friday night.
Reyes led the Elite with 16 points, Carlo Lastimosa added 14 wile Bambam Gamalinda chipped in 13.
Isaac though reminded his boys to maintain their aggressiveness throughout the tournament, especially since they’ll be facing the Chinese squad that boasts of three players standing 6-11 and above.
“We need to match up maski disadvantage kami sa size,” stressed Isaac whose team will be playing in a virtual championship showdown against Zheijang.
“And again, we emphasized the importance of team defense because our tallest player is about 4 to 5 inches shorter than the Chinese’s big guys,” he added. – By Richard Dy
Blackwater 89 – Reyes 16, Lastimosa, 14, Gamalinda 13, Dela Cruz 8, Golla 7, Pascual 6, Tiongson 6, Canada 6, Mellano 6, Vosotros 3, Bulawan 2, Sena 2
Thailang Pea Basketball 76- Austin 27, Tanai 13, Nutchapong 13, Athiwat 12, Supanat 7, Arnon 2, Moolwong 2, Eaktanat 0, Aphirak 0
Quarter scores: 23-22, 57-39, 73-57, 89-76