by Jonas Terrado
Blackwater rallied from an 11-point second quarter deficit to deal Rain or Shine its first loss, 111-99, Wednesday night to end a 0-2 start in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Mike DiGregorio hit 12 of his 27 points in the third quarter to key the comeback that enabled the Elite to barge into the win column after losses to the NorthPort Batang Pier and Meralco Bolts.
Allein Maliksi had 23 points, Chris Javier posted 16 points and 13 rebounds in a starring role and rookie Abu Tratter went 12 points and eight boards in the victory that came after trailing 53-42 shortly before halftime.
Elite coach Bong Ramos praised his team’s resolve which he first saw after losing to the Bolts, 99-94, last Jan. 19 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
James Yap scored 20 points but the Elasto Painters couldn’t continue their winning ways seen in defeating the NLEX Road Warriors and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to fall in a tie for second with the Batang Pier at 2-1.
Rain or Shine’s setback left idle Phoenix Pulse as the only unbeaten team in the conference with its 3-0 record.