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PBA: Blackwater eyes 3-0

Games Today
(Smart Araneta)
4:15 p.m. – TNT KaTropa vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – GlobalPort vs Star

Aces suspend Manuel, Exciminiano.

Surprise co-leader Blackwater takes yet another acid test as it stake its unblemished slate against perennial contender TNT KaTropa in what should be an interesting match up in the PBA Philippine Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

At the moment, the Elite sport a 2-0 card with Rain or Shine the only team with a similar win-loss record, a first for the Blackwater franchise.

The game between Blackwater and TNT is set at 4:15 p.m., while clashing in the second game at 7 p.m. are GlobalPort and Star with the Batang Pier eyeing their second straight win while the Hotshots aim for their first after losing in the opener.

GlobalPort won against Mahindra in its opening game, 97-75, with scoring champion Terrence Romeo dropping 29 points, while Stanley Pringle produced an all-around performance with 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists to give new coach Franz Pumaren a win in his return to the PBA.

As for Star, the team dropped its first match on opening day when it lost to defending champion San Miguel Beer, 96-88, where Paul Lee – obtained in a trade with Rain or Shine for James Yap – collected 12 points and 10 rebounds but committed a career high nine turnovers.

All eyes, however, are on the Elite with rookie Mac Belo leading the charge after averaging 21 points and 7.5 rebounds which earned him PBA Press Corps (PBAPC) Player of the Week honors.

Meanwhile, Alaska management suspended forward Vic Manuel and guard Ping Exciminiano for violating team rules under the players contract after the two apparently suited up in a pick-up game – known as ‘ligang labas’ in the PBA.

The suspension will take effect in the Aces’ game tomorrow versus SMB at the Big Dome.

“When you violate your PBA contract by participating in “larong labas”, there will be consequences,” said Alaska governor Dickie Bachmann. “We need to send a message to all PBA players that violations like these are taken very seriously and have consequences.”