Blackwater Elite 95 – Kia Picanto 76
The Blackwater Elite relied on another strong performance by Mike DiGregorio to power them past the Kia Picanto for their second straight win.
The Picanto were competitive in the first half of the game. When the Elite tried to pull away in the first period, Kia clawed their way back into contention. Blackwater jumped out to a nine-point lead, 17-8 as Dave Marcelo got into a groove. Kia got back into the game with strong moves to the paint by Jackson Corpuz, Reden Celda and Jay-R Reyes. Kia stayed within striking distance for the rest of the first half as they found their range in the second quarter. Blackwater could only salvage a six-point lead heading into the break.
In the third quarter though, DiGregorio caught fire. He only mustered five points in the first two quarters but exploded for 14 points in the third period. He started off his barrage with a wide-open trey from the left corner. That got his shot going as he followed that up with another three-pointer and a leak-out fast break layup. The highlight of his scoring burst was a high-looping floater that fell into the hoop despite the hard foul. That shot gave the Elite a 13-point lead which they built up to 20 points in the third period. They never looked back from that point on.
DiGregorio finished the game with 21 points to lead Blackwater. JP Erram continued his hot streak with another big double-double performance. He scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the win.
Magnolia Hotshots 96 – GlobalPort Batang Pier 81
The Magnolia Hotshots used a big second half run to take down the GlobalPort Batang Pier and stop their losing streak at two games.
The Hotshots were ice cold from the field to start the game. They just couldn’t buy a bucket as their main weapons were firing blanks. Magnolia shot sub-30% in the first half, hitting only 12 shots to score 34 points. Unfortunately, the Batang Pier couldn’t capitalize on Magnolia’s cold shooting. GlobalPort was able to build a double-digit lead near the end of the first halibut their defence allowed Magnolia to cut the lead down to half. They only mustered up 39 points, allowing Magnolia to stay within striking distance heading into the second half of the game.
Magnolia found their stride in the third period. Aldrich Ramos got the second half started with a big three-pointer from the top of the key, plus the foul. That was an ominous sign of things to come. The Hotshots were getting into the paint and finding shooters open in the wings. Mark Barroca buried a three-pointer from the left wing to tie the game at 53. Ian Sangalang’s offensive put back a possession later gave the Hotshots the lead back. Magnolia continued to go on a tear as they built an eight-point lead by the end of the third period.
In the fourth quarter, they got some timely contribution from an unexpected source. Rome Dela Rosa scored half of his points in the final period as the Hotshots pulled way from the Batang Pier for good. They were able to build a lead as big as 18-points in the final period thanks to Dela Rosa’s offense. Del Rosa finished with 18 points to lead the Hotshots to the win. Magnolia is now closer to a quarterfinals berth with their seventh win.