by Jonas Terrado
Blackwater put an end to Magnolia’s five-game winning streak by grinding out a 104-99 overtime victory and secure a quarterfinals berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Roi Sumang scored all of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a three-pointer that made it 94-87 with 2:16 remaining in the extra session as the Elite snapped a two-game skid to climb in third place at 6-3.
New import Staphon Blair had 14 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, Mike DiGregorio scored 15 points and Allein Maliksi likewise made 14 points.
Rookie Ray Parks Jr. scored 11 points, including a three-pointer late for a 99-93 lead in the extension, though he had his most disappointing performance of the conference with a 2-of-12 shooting.
“Credit to our local guys for helping Staphon Blair get into our scheme of things,” said coach Aries Dimaunahan, who guided Blackwater to the quarters in his first conference as a PBA coach.
Paul Lee, who joined the 5,000 point club, scored 25 points and import James Farr added 23 points while grabbing 20 rebounds but Magnolia fell to fourth place with a 6-3 record.
The defeat came before the Hotshots face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Sunday’s Manila Clasico showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Magnolia’s loss allowed second-running NorthPort to clinch the first twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters.
The Batang Pier hold a superior quotient over TNT KaTropa, Blackwater and Magnolia in the tiebreaker, thus giving them their first quarterfinal incentive in franchise history.
Sumang scored a layup and DiGregorio knocked down a three to give Blackwater an 84-80 lead with over a minute to go in regulation.
But the Hotshots sent the game into overtime after Farr scored and Lee made two fouls with seven ticks left in the fourth for 84-all. Parks’ missed a running jumper at the buzzer.
BLACKWATER 104 — Sumang 19, Digregorio 15, Maliksi 14, Blair 14, Parks 11, Belo 9, Al-Hussaini 9, Alolino 5, Cortez 4, Sena 4, Banal 0.
MAGNOLIA 99 — Lee 25, Farr 23, Jalalon 14, Barroca 13, Brondial 6, Sangalang 4, Dela Rosa 4, Melton 3, Pingris 3, Herndon 2, Pascual 2, Simon 0.
Quarters: 23-23; 39-43; 61-61; 84-84 (Reg); 104-99 (OT).