The Blackwater young guns showed that they belong in the PBA after coming up big for their team, staving off a furious Alaska late-game charge to hold on to the slim 103-100 win.
Sophomore Shej Roi Sumang and rookie Mac Belo delivered some clutch baskets not only to gain the lead from Alaska, but to stave off the Calvin Abueva led run that cut the 12 point Blackwater lead in the 4th quarter.
Alaska took control of the game late in the 1st quarter off steady post scoring by Vic Manuel who finished the game with 13 points and 4 rebounds. Through the third quarter, Alaska continued to keep a steady lead over the young Blackwater Elite team, owing to steady offensive contributions from veterans Dondon Hontiveros and Sonny Thoss.
A run started by Ronjay Buenafe, capped off by Mac Belo saw Alaska’s lead sputter out as Belo hit straight baskets to bring the Elite within 3 points at 56-59 while Buenafe tied the game at 59 with a 3.
Buenafe and Belo continued to keep the pressure on Alaska, regaining the lead from the Aces. Nard John Pinto and Roi Sumang ended the 3rd quarter for the Elite, starting a run that would see their lead balloon to double digits in the following quarter.
Raymond Aguilar and Sumang continued to put the hurt on Alaska in the 4th, increasing their lead to up to 12 points. But Calvin Abueva gave the Aces a second win, sparking a furious run to bring the lead to 3 with less than 3 minutes to go.
Mac Belo and Roi Sumang hit consecutive field goals to break Alaska’s back, stretching the lead beyond their reach time and again, with Sumang bucking the pressure, knocking down game clinching freethrows.