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Blackwater in big splash in Penang

PENANG, Malaysia – Blackwater came through with a flurry of three-point shots from its bench players in the second quarter and rolled past Thailand Pea Basketball Club, 89-76 in the 2016 Penang Chief Minister Cup International Basketball Invitational Championships Saturday at the Han Chiang Indoor Stadium here.

Raphael Reyes, Juami Tiongson and rookie Almond Vosotros combined for seven triples that saw the Elite pull away from a tight contest for a 57-39 halftime lead.

Reyes led Blackwater with 16, while Lastimosa and Bambam Gamalinda chipped in 14 and 13, respectively, as the Elite chalked up their second straight win in as many outings.

The Elite, however, need to play a lot tougher and smarter if they want to upset powerhouse Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank of China.

“Based sa performances of Malaysia and India, siguro tingin ko China din yung malakas, pero sana we can play our very best against them,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac, noting China’s tall front court of Zhang Yong Peng, Zhang Dayu and Lai Jung.

The Blackwater coach said starting center JP Erram, the tallest player in the team at 6-foot-8, will need all the help he can get from his other big men like James Sena, Kyle Pascual and undersized energy player Gilbert Bulawan.

“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 so definitely, mapapakinabangang talaga yung outside shooting natin,” he added.

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

THAILAND 76 – Austin 27, Tanai 13, Nutchapong 13, Athiwat 12, Supanat 7, Arnon 2, Moolwong 2, Eaktanat 0, Aphirak 0.

Quarters: 23-22, 57-39, 73-57, 89-76.