Blackwater equated its biggest win yet with a 107-70 blowout of Terrafirma in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center-Antipolo on Saturday.
The Bossing mounted a relentless 36-20 assault against the Dyip in the second quarter and never looked back.
At least six Blackwater players dished out double-digit figures to help their team secure a share of second spot with San Miguel Beer with a 3-1 slate.
Rookie Ato Ular scored 16, while Jvee Casio had 14 markers. Yousef Taha tallied 12 points and the trio of Mark Dyke, Barkley Ebona and James Sena scored 11 each.
However, Blackwater coach Angel Vanguardia said it is too early to celebrate.
“We can’t celebrate too much because we know that every team has the capability to beat each other,” said Vanguardia, whose team is recovering from an infamous 29-game slump.
Joshua Munzon led the Dyip with 17 points. Terrafirma, which missed the services of Isaac Go, Ed Daquioag and Bonbon Batiller due to injuries, absorbed its fifth defeat.
Yet, The Blackwater Bossings are confident that they are slowly but surely altering the narrative around their franchise, amid a strong start in the on-going 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
It’s a sentiment shared by his veteran center, Yousef Taha, who anchored their win against the Dyip with 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists.
“I’m happy about it,” said Taha of their 37-point win, which surpassed their 132-106 route of NLEX in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup as the most lopsided for the franchise. “But it’s just one game.”
“It’s not where we wanna be yet, we still have a lot to improve on. We gotta keep getting better. That’s our goal right now. Just keep moving forward and keep getting better, game by game,” he added.
Still, Blackwater’s 3-1 start to the Philippine Cup is something to be proud of for Vanguardia and his crew. Just last conference, they were in the midst of a record-breaking 29-game losing streak, the longest in the history of the league.
Vanguardia credits their turnaround to the trust given by his players to the coaching staff, as well as the leadership of his veterans. It also helps that the Bossing kept the players that they wanted, the coach said.
“I think everybody bought in,” he explained. “We kept the core, we kept the guards that we wanted.”
“JVee Casio has a lot to do with it, [with] his leadership by example,” the coach said, denoting the veteran point guard whom they acquired in October 2021 in a deal with Alaska. “Baser Amer [is] a veteran. And maybe unheralded, but Justin Melton, he’s like a glue guy for everyone.”
Blackwater is now bracing for a tough stretch that will see them play Meralco next week before taking on Phoenix Super LPG, San Miguel Beer, and Rain or Shine in a span of six days. The team’s confidence is rising, however, and Vanguardia is optimistic that the Bossing can sustain their success.
“We’re having fun because the guys like to play with each other. But still, there’s a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement. We have to figure out how to play against the bigger teams.”
Team next match will take place on June 30th 2022 versus the Meralco Bolts.
Blackwater 107 – Ular 16, Casio 14, Taha 12, Dyke 11, Ebona 11, Sena 11, Publico 7, Ayonayon 5, Amer 5, Suerte 5, Melton 4, Escoto 4, McCarthy 2.
Terrafirma 70 – Munzon 17, Gabayni 12, Tiongson 10, Camson 10, Gomez de Liano 9, Ramos 6, Cahilig 4, Calvo 2, Grospe 0, Tumalip 0, Enriquez 0, Mina 0, Balagasay 0.
Quarters: 18-18, 54-38, 76-54, 107-70