Blackwater keeps playoff hopes alive
FOR Blackwater, the rest of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup schedule is all about giving itself the chance to move on, and after getting three players shooting in the 20s on Wednesday night, the Elite are halfway through their modest goal.
The veteran KG Canaleta and import Greg Smith scored 24 each and Mike DiGregorio tossed in a career-high 22 as the Elite practically led from start to finish in a 104-98 decision of NLEX to stay in the running for a playoff berth at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was the first win in the last three games and just the second in eight overall for the Elite, who made it no secret that they are expecting to win against Mahindra on Sunday to earn a legitimate shot at a playoff berth against two powerhouses in the latter stages of the eliminations.
“I just told the players to give ourselves a good chance to make the playoffs (by winning this game and against Mahindra),” coach Leo Isaac said.
“We’re just prepping ourselves to be in a situation where we can enjoy the games against San Miguel and (Barangay) Ginebra.”
Isaac is referring to their last two outings which will happen on May 26 and May 31, games that could, with victories, shove the undermanned Elite into the next round without any complications.
“Medyo manipis ang (we have very slim) chances,” Isaac said in acknowledging the mammoth task of beating the Gin Kings and the Beermen in succession as both squads have a combined nine-game winning streak going.
“But we would like to give ourselves that chance (by winning against Mahindra),” Isaac said.
DiGregorio, acquired from the free agent market before the start of the conference, hit his first seven points in the first period and dropped his last 15 in the final two frames, including 12 in the third to help the Elite maintain control.
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