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PBA: Elite post first win

Games Today
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Mahindra vs TNT
6:45 p.m. – Ginebra vs Star

Blackwater ended the misery of losing its four games after turning back GlobalPort, 118-113, in a battle of two winless teams yesterday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Import Greg Smith had 40 points and 19 rebounds while getting significant help from Michael DiGregorio, Reil Cervantes and John Pinto to barge into the win column after a frustrating start marred by injuries to key players Art de la Cruz and rookie Mac Belo.

The Elite came back from a pair of six-point deficits in the fourth quarter to take a 114-105 lead before weathering the Batang Pier’s furious rally sparked by Terrence Romeo to claim the Petron Saturday Special game.

Romeo finished with 35 points, making 9-of-13 triples, but the Batang Pier remained without a victory after four tries.

Import Malcolm White had 33 points, 17 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in his GlobalPort debut after replacing former NBA center Sean Williams.

Blackwater and GlobalPort were so focused on ending their respective slumps that the game didn’t go uninterrupted during the two strong earthquakes that shook Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.

Alaska and Meralco were playing at presstime, with the Aces looking to stretch their perfect record to five games and the Bolts aching to rebound from last week’s loss to the San Miguel Beermen.

Meanwhile, the undefeated Star Hotshots shoot for their fifth straight win when they face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in their latest Manila Clasico encounter today at the same venue.

The Hotshots hope to hurdle the first assignment of a difficult stretch in the 6:45 p.m. game that marks the first meeting of the two squads since Ginebra’s seven-game victory in the Philippine Cup semifinals.

After the Ginebra match, Star is scheduled to face Philippine Cup champion San Miguel on April 16.

TNT KaTropa, on a high after rallying from a 29-point deficit to beat NLEX two days earlier, eyes its fourth consecutive triumph as it plays Mahindra in the 4:30 p.m. opener.

Today’s doubleheader is in conjunction with the celebration of the league’s 42nd anniversary.

The league said it will be giving away television sets, smart phones and other valuable items on its foundation day celebration while free general admission tickets are also in store to the first 1,000 early birds.

BLACKWATER 118 – Smith 40, Digregorio 18, Cervantes 14, Sena 10, Pinto 9, Buenafe 9, Canaleta 7, Sumang 5, Gamalinda 3, Aguilar 2, Cruz 1, Pascual 0.

GLOBALPORT 113 – Romeo 35, White 33, Pringle 13, Cortez 13, Quinahan 7, Pennisi 5, Pessumal 3, Ababou 2, Aban 2, Forrester 0, Mamaril 0.

Quarters: 31-26; 57-57; 88-95; 118-113.