May 31, 2023

Rosario warms up early as Blackwater subdues Terrafirma

TROY Rosario showed the way and his teammates followed as wished, enabling Blackwater to hold off Terrafirma to the tune of 100-94 Wednesday in their PBA On Tour match at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Rosario scattered 17 of his team-high 20 points in the first half before the likes of Rashawn McCarthy, RK Ilagan, Baser Amer and Mike Ayonayon took over the most in the final 24 minutes that enabled the Bossing to bounce back from an 83-117 loss to Magnolia last Sunday.

"We were challenged kasi sa game na ito. Sabi ng mga coaches namin, titingnan naming kung paano kami mag-respond after that big loss sa Magnolia," related Rosario, who shot 8-for-13 from the field while adding five rebounds.

"I think, kailangan kong i-start iyon, kaming mga veterans," added Rosario. "So good thing sumunod mga teammates namin, talagang nagpakita offense and defense."

Any help was really needed before Blackwater could improve to 2-1 in the pre-season and Amer's corner 3 was one as it stopped cold a Terrafirma uprising that brought it within 87-94 after falling behind by as many as 14 points early in the fourth period.

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The biggest boost, however, came from 5-foot-6 Ilagan as he ran rings around 6-8 Isaac Go before booming in a triple before corralling the offensive rebound and translating it to a short stab that put the Bossing safely away, 99-89, only 33 seconds left in the game presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus.

It was Terrafirma's second loss in as many games and this one should sting more than its 82-119 loss to Converge last Friday.

Despite the absence of the injured Kevin Ferrer and Eric Camson, plus the ailing JP Calvo and indisposed Alex Cabagnot, the Dyip were able to more than keep pace with the Bossing in the game's early goings.

But Allan Mina, who hit his first five shots and really seemed to have it going with 16 points, twisted his right ankle in the second quarter. He returned to the game but turned ice-cold as he missed his last three shots to eventually wind up with just 19 points.

Juami Tiongson, still in the process of finding his old lethal form after an illness, led Terrafirma with 22 points but went just 6-for-19 from the field.

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Andreas Cahilig finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds with 10 of his points coming in the fourth period that helped keep the Dyip in the game.

The odds truly turned Blackwater's way when it used a more balanced offensive in outscoring Terrafirma, 31-19, in the third period to raze a 53-54 halftime deficit and take an 84-73 lead into the last 12 minutes of play. (NC)