Blackwater eyes an early solo lead as it chases a third consecutive win against Columbian Dyip at 4:30 p.m. today in Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Rookie coach Aries Dimaunahan who replaced Bong Ramos has proven that he’s coaching prowess is at par with the best after his wards beat Meralco under coach Norman Black (94-91) and Ginebra San Miguel under coach Tim Cone (108-107).
“As far as our team is concerned, we treat any team here in the PBA equally. It doesn’t matter who we play against. The effort and preparation plus the game plan will always be there, and I don’t think our team will give an inch to Columbian Dyip on Sunday,” Dimaunahan told The Manila Times.
Dimaunahan considers Columbian Dyip a strong team though the latter lost its first two games.
“They are a very good team. It just happened that they’ve yet to post a win but it doesn’t mean that they cannot beat any team. Anybody can beat anybody here in this league.”
Hotshot rookie Bobby Ray Parks Jr. agrees.
“It won’t mean anything if we don’t get Sunday. We are growing each and every game. At the end of the day, as long as we get the win, that’s the most important thing,” said Parks who posted 10 of his 28 points in the overtime period in Blackwater’s win over the Gin Kings.
Import Alex Stepheson lived up to expectations with 28 points and 25 rebounds while Mac Belo tallied 20 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
Columbian Dyip coach John Cardel said the challenge is how to stop Stepheson and Parks.
“Stepheson is really unstoppable so we have to rely on a fast paced game. We just have to double all our efforts in defense because we really need the win tomorrow,” said Cardel.
Import Kyle Barone finished with 26 points, 16 rebounds and three assists in Columbian Dyip’s 92-101 loss to Meralco on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Bolts face the Gin Kings in the 6:45 p.m. second game.
Meralco (1-1) will be led by import Gani Lawal who had 25 points and 27 rebounds against Columbian Dyip.
Last year’s Best Import Justin Brownlee posted 44 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists but not enough for the Gin Kings to escape Blackwater.
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