by Jonas Terrado
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Blackwater vs Columbian
6:45 p.m. – Ginebra vs Meralco
Blackwater tries to continue its surprise start and improve to a perfect 3-0 record against winless Columbian in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Two days removed from a shock 108-107 overtime victory over defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, the Elite look to stay unbeaten against the Dyip in the first game set at 4:30 p.m.
Ginebra is aiming to bounce back opposite a Meralco side coming off a 101-92 triumph over Columbian, also last Friday, in the second game at 6:45 p.m.
Rookie Ray Parks Jr. came through with key baskets in the overtime period on his way to 28 points as Blackwater denied Ginebra a winning start to its title defense.
Despite the hard-fought victory, Parks cautioned against complacency going into the match with the Dyip.
“This win (against Ginebra) won’t mean anything if we don’t win on Sunday. It will only cancel out,” said Parks.
Coach Aries Dimaunahan hopes to fashion out another victory in order to continue an unlikely start to his stint as Blackwater’s top strategist.
Columbian hopes to spoil Blackwater’s quest behind import Kyle Barone and rookie CJ Perez.
Barone is averaging 28.0 points and 19.0 rebounds while Perez logged 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals.
Meanwhile, Ginebra has no time to cry over spilled milk as it aims to get into the win column against Meralco.
Resident import Justin Brownlee had 44 points and Greg Slaughter put in 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in a losing effort.
Meralco is banking on import Gani Lawal and the new backcourt duo of rookie Trevis Jackson and Baser Amer to deal Ginebra another setback.