Blackwater stretches hot start, pips ROS

STA. ROSA, Laguna — Blackwater Elite held off Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters, 99-93, to place one foot into the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Sunday night.

Blackwater thought it is on its way to shutting down ROS at halftime when it limited the Elasto Painters to just nine second-quarter points and go up, 47-39.

But the E-Painters showed resilience for most of the second half and were even within four, 73-77, with 9:05 to play in the game.

The Elite responded with a 7-0 run after a timeout to stretch their lead back to 11, 84-73, with 7:21 to go.

ROS showed its grit anew and cut the lead down to three, 90-87, with 2:37 to go, but John Pinto dropped a booming triple in Blackwater’s next play to bring the lead up to six again, 93-87.

The E-Painters still had one last trick in their sleeves as they trimmed the gap to just two, 94-92, with 43 seconds remaining.

But Pinto finally shut the door for the E-Painters with another dagger trey for the Elite with 15 seconds left.

Mike DiGregorio led a balanced scoring effort that saw five Blackwater players scoring in double figures with 17 points alongside four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block.

John Pinto went for a perfect 6-of-6 shooting and added 16 points with five boards, one dime, and one block.

Henry Walker came up with a triple-double of 14 markers, the same number of caroms, and 12 dimes with two blocks.

Maverick Ahanmisi exploded for 25 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block for ROS.