The Blackwater Elite had their best finish ever in an Elimination Round. They secure the third seed heading into the Quarterfinals with a 7-4 record. The Elite got their seventh win at the expense of the Alaska Aces, 112-104. The Aces finish at 4-7 and wait for results of the other teams to know their fate.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr., the game-changer for the Elite this conference continued to showcase why he was worth the wait. He was two assists shy of a triple-double, leading Blackwater with 25 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Parks got a lot of help from his bench as four reserves finished in double figures, led by 18 from Roi Sumang. Diamon Simpson was also two assists shy of a triple-double with 24 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists.
With Playoff positioning at stake, both teams came ready to play. The Aces jumped out to an early lead in the first period but the Elite came right back to keep the game close. After three quarters, a solitary points separated both teams.
Mac Belo and Parks tried to get Blackwater to pull away, getting the lead up to three points several times in the quarter. But Alaska always had an answer to keep the lead only a possession away. Parks scored on a layup inside the final two minutes to bring Blackwater’s lead up to three once again. Sonny Thoss split his freebies in the next possession to cut the advantage down to just two. That’s when Blackwater got a dagger from an unlikely source.
Parks initiated the play and sucked up the Alaska defense. He then kicked out to a wide-open Rabeh Al-Hussaini. The big man sank a three-pointer from the left wing that gave Blackwater a five-point lead. Sumang followed that shot up with a pull up jumper for good measure to seal the win.
In second game, Barangay Ginebra needed an extra period but they overcame the streaking Columbian Dyip 127-123 to earn the fourth seed in the standings. Ginebra finishes at 7-4 while Columbian is eliminated from contention at 3-8.
Justin Brownlee was a man on a mission in the game. He erupted for 50 points on 54% shooting to lead Ginebra. Japeth Aguilar backed him up with 20 points while Pringle and Tenorio scored 16 and 15 respectively. Lester Prosper did everything he could to lead the Dyip, scoring 45 points.
Columbian played with a sense of desperation early in the game. Behind Prosper’s scoring, the Dyip were able to build a 12-point lead near the end of the first quarter. Ginebra woke up in the second quarter. They matched Columbian’s intensity to get back in the game and turn it into a back-and-forth affair all the way to the end.
Late in the fourth, Proper traded blows with Brownlee and Aguilar giving the Dyip a two-point lead with 11 seconds left on the clock. Brownlee was able to get the ball back off a steal and found Stanley Pringle. Ginebra’s superstar guard drove to the lane and scored on a floater to send the game to OT.
In the extra period, Brownlee continued his onslaught. He scored nine of Ginebra’s 14 points in OT to lead the way. His jumper with 31 seconds left gave Ginebra the lead back. The team forced a miss leading to two free throws from Tenorio to ice the game.
Photos from the PBA