What Went Wrong for Blackwater: The Numbers

Breaking down the numbers that doomed the Elite

Allen Maliksi was a non-factor in last night’s game. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
After Allen Maliksi drained that game-winner against the Bolts which forced a do-or-die game, in the minds of the Blackwater fans, the Blackwater Elite already had the momentum coming into last night’s game to score another upset win against the league leaders, the Meralco Bolts. That was the case for the Elite in the first half as they took a double-digit lead into the break. From that point on, it was a free-fall for the Elite as the Bolts came back to take the lead in the 4th quarter- a lead from which Blackwater never recovered from.
Now, let’s take a look at the important numbers which explained why the Elite missed an opportunity to beat a powerhouse team and book a date against the Star Hotshots in the semifinals:

1

After torching the Bolts with his 6 three-pointers in the first half, Henry Walker only made 1 in the second half to finish the game with a 7 of 11 shooting from downtown. In addition to this, the Bolts’ defense limited Henry to 7 points in the second half after he almost scored easily in the first half with 27 points. Whatever Norman Black yelled about the Bolts’ defense during the halftime break, it hit the Bolts and responded well. Result: Walker was contained and that doomed Blackwater.

5

Blackwater only scored 5 points off their opportunities to run on the break which is by the way, slightly better to the 2 fastbreak points that they had last Tuesday. There were many instances in last night’s game where the Elite were able to run on the break only to miss both open and contested lay-ups. Or worse, the Bolts were already back on defense which prevented Blackwater to score quickly. 

10

Allen Maliksi only had 10 points in last night’s loss to the Bolts. If anything, last night’s game proved one thing: if Maliksi struggles with his offense, Blackwater will struggle and the Bolts’ defense made sure of that. In fact, Maliksi missed 8 of his 11 shot attempts and that’s a big blow for the Elite. 

31

If anything, the lousy defense of the Elite, especially in the second half, is also one of the things which cost them the game in the first place. Blackwater allowed Baser Amer to torch them and score 31 points, many of them were scored during the decisive 4th quarter run which enabled the Bolts to take the lead for good. Also, 31 was the number of points that the Elite allowed the Bolts to score in the 4th quarter. And one more thing, 31 was also the total number of points that the Bolts’ bench players had scored which is a far cry to the Elite’s 19 bench points.
While there’s no denying the fact that the Bolts had more experience, you can’t simply take away anything from Blackwater. With this latest setback, they can only get better because as it is, they’re already one of the most exciting teams we have in the league and we can expect more from them come next season and beyond. 

Bolts Recover in Time to Book Semifinal Slot

Amer led the Bolts as Durham gets hurt late

Amer played one of the best games in his career to lead the Bolts (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
The Blackwater Elite knew that they were facing a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the top-seeded team, Meralco Bolts when they first faced off against last Tuesday to open the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup. It seemed that the disadvantaged didn’t bother Allen Maliksi who completed the Elite’s comeback win when he drained that game winner in the dying seconds of Tuesday’s battle. As a result, both teams get another chance to decide which of them will have the honor of dancing against the Star Hotshots in the semifinals.
They fell behind during most of the first half. Henry Walker was torching them early on. Their own import, Allen Durham got hurt in the 4th quarter and yet, the Meralco Bolts will now face the Star Hotshots in the semifinals after eliminating the Blackwater, 104-96.
Wanting to make up for their slow start last Tuesday when they fell, 24-17 at the end of quarter number 1, the Bolts went firing on all cylinders as Baser Amer scored 5 points during the opening minutes of the game after missing most of Tuesday’s game due to injury that he sustained just a few seconds into the game.

However, shortly after the Bolts held an 8-point lead, the Elite went on a scoring to take the lead, at 18-18 with under 4 minutes to play, thanks to Maliksi’s 3-point play. Maliksi later added another jumper with under 2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter to increase the Elite’s lead to 5, forcing Norman Black to signal that he needed a timeout. The Bolts went 4 minutes without scoring a field goal, a spell that was only broken by Ranidel de Ocampo who went on his 5-point run to tie the score at 22 apiece with a minute to play.

In the second quarter, the Bolts took the lead on multiple occasions but their inconsistency allowed the Elite to take the lead and that lead increased to 33-28 on Henry Walker’s three-point shot 3 minutes into the quarter. Walker scored on a 3-point play to furthermore push the lead to 8. Eventually, Garvo Lanete contributed on a Meralco run as his three-pointer gave them the lead at 37-36 only to be answered by Walker who made a pair of three-pointers of his own to make it 42-37 with under 4 minutes before halftime. He also drained another three-pointer to give Blackwater their first taste of a double-digit lead.
The Elite took a 52-40 into the halftime break as Henry Walker led the way with 27 points which included a 6 of 11 shooting from rainbow distance and, 11 rebounds. JP Eram had 11 points in the first half to go along with 5 boards. Blackwater held a double-digit lead at the half thanks to their three-point shooting which saw them make 6 of 18 attempts, all by Walker. Allen Durham had 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Meralco. The Bolts were outmuscled on the boards at 33-25 and were outscored on second-chance points at 7-4.
Meralco then started the 3rd quarter by trimming down the Elite’s lead to 6 thanks to Baser Amer who completed a 3-point play. But Allen Maliksi drained a 3-pointer to bring the lead back to 11 only to be answered by an Allen Durham basket off an offensive rebound. Mike Digregorio later answered with another trey for the Elite and Ranidel de Ocampo added another one from long distance to keep the lead down at 8 with under 8 minutes to go in the quarter.  The lead went down to as lowest as three after de Ocampo completed a 3-point play with 5:40 to play. 
Finally, the Bolts grabbed the lead for the since the first half after Jared Dillinger drained another trey for Meralco, making it 68-67 with 2:52 remaining in the 3rd. After making 6 threes in the first half, Henry Walker finally drained his first one in the second during the final 5 seconds of the quarter as Blackwater took a 77-73 lead into the fourth quarter.
If anything, the Meralco Bolts found their shooting touch back in the 3rd as they started the fourth quarter with a series of three-pointers from Baser Amer, Garvo Lanete and the last one, on Jared Dillinger’s trey to put the Bolts up by 87-84 with under 9 minutes to play, prompting Leo Isaac to call for a timeout. 
Just when everyone thought that things were starting to go the Bolts’ way, Allen Durham was hurt after landing awkwardly while driving for a lay-up. He was taken to the bench and was attended by the trainers. He later returned to the game and scored 4 straight points to widen the lead to 99-91 with less than 4 minutes to spare. Dillinger again, drained another bomb from the 3-point line to put the Bolts up 10 with under 2 minutes left and that proved to be the dagger that put the life out of the Elite, for good.
Baser Amer led the Bolts with 31 points while making 4 of his 7 attempts from downtown. Allen Durham added 18 points to go with his 20 rebounds and 9 assists. Garvo Lanete provided the needed spark off the bench with 17 markers which were built on 5 makes from rainbow country. Dillinger finished with 15 points. Ranidel de Ocampo added 14 as the Bolts recovered from their early struggles especially when it comes to shooting threes as they finished the game by making 41% of their attempts from that area. 
Overall, Meralco made 46%  of their shots as compared to the Elite who only managed to make 39% of their total attempts.
Henry Walker concluded his stint with Blackwater with 34 points, but only scoring 7 of them after the halftime break. JP Eram added 18 points while Mike Digregorio scored 10 points. Allen Maliksi only had 10 points on a miserable 3 of 11 field goal shooting.
Scores:
Meralco – 104
Amer 31, Durham 18, Lanete 17, Dilinger 15, de Ocampo 14, Newsome 7, Hodge 2, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurita 0, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0, Nabong 0, Faundo 0, Tolomia 0
Blackwater – 96
Walker 34, Eram 18, Digregorio 11, Maliksi 10, Canaleta 6, Marcelo 6, Belo 5, Sumang 4, Pinto 2, Miranda 0, Banal 0, Sena 0, Cervantes 0, Cruz 0, Ellis 0, Javier 0
Quarter scoring:
22-22, 40-52, 73-77, 104-96

Blackwater’s Walker and Maliksi Put on a Show and Forced a Rubber Match

Maliksi’s game-winner forced a rubber match

Henry Walker outperformed Allen Durham in this match-up. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
For the Blackwater Elite, a win here will give them another game to prove to the rest of the PBA that they do deserve being in the playoffs despite having no consistent superstar. For the Meralco Bolts, they only need one win to move on into the semifinals. For the Bolts, they cannot afford to allow the Elites to build any percentage of confidence in this game because if a team becomes confident that they can score on you no matter where they are in the standings, that’s a dangerous team to play against.
Wanting to prove their worth as they are in the playoffs for the second time in its history, the Blackwater Elite came out in the first quarter with an intensity that forced the Bolts to make shots that either clanked out of the ring or even miserably missed the net. On offense, the Elite were scoring on almost all sorts whether it’s a three-pointer or an inside shot. 
For the Bolts on the other hand, who just came back from an 18-point hole to claim the top spot last Sunday, their offense was a mess and so was their defense. To worsen things, starting point guard Baser Amer who also played during a comeback win against San Miguel was taken out of the game after getting hurt he landed awkwardly during the opening minutes of the game.
The Bolts’ offense started to click in slowly come the second quarter as Cliff Hodge who was elbowed by Blackwater’s import Henry Walker the possession before, knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 29 apiece with 6:10 remaining in the quarter. Blackwater actually held a 10-point lead during the opening of the second quarter but thanks to the re-emergence of the Bolts’ defense, the Elite went scoreless for almost 3 minutes before finally broke the dry spell with a three-pointer of their own after that Hodge trey. Since then, it became a scramble for the lead as both teams struggled to hold onto the lead as both teams went into the halftime with the Elite leading at 42-40.
Blackwater for most parts, shot better during the first half, making 48% of their shot attempts including 33% from the three-point line. Allein Maliksi led a Blackwater team whose import Henry Walker was offensively absent during the first 24 minutes of play, with 9 points.
Allen Durham kept the Bolts within striking distance with his 11 points and 8 rebounds in the first half while Cliff Hodge led the Bolts with 12 points to his name. One of the reasons why the Bolts managed to keep it close was their defense which forced the Elite to throw the ball away 9 times during the first half in contrast to 4 turnovers of their own. The Bolts also took advantage of the Elites’ turnovers by outscoring Blackwater in terms of points off turnovers, 12-3.
The Elite started the third quarter by building on a 5-point lead but thanks to their inconsistency on both sides of the court, they never sustained a successful scoring as the Bolts answered every basket that Blackwater. The lead eventually grew up to 6 after Henry Walker drilled another three with under 7 minutes to play in the quarter. 
A few possessions later, both Allen Durham and Dave Marcelo for a technical foul after almost getting into a shoving match as both were battling for a rebound under the Bolts’ basket. From that point on, it was an up and down battle as the lead changed hands multiple as the Bolts went nuts after Cliff Hodge dunked that gave them the lead at 62-61 with 21 seconds to go. However, the Elite was able to grab the lead back at 63-62 after Mike Digregorio scored on a lay-up with 4 seconds to play in the quarter. Digregorio for his part, already had 18 points by then.
While most of the PBA fans believed that the Bolts would finish this one in one game, Allen Maliksi had something else in mind when he drained the potential game-winning jumper as the Blackwater Elite held on for a 92-91 victory over the league-leading Meralco Bolts that forced another game to decide who will move on into the semifinals.
Both teams continued their exchange of baskets as Walker scored on a 3-point play only to be answered by Durham who scored on the ensuing possession. Walker followed that up with a three-pointer which put the lead back to 6 with 7:19 to play that forced Norman Black to call for a timeout because Walker has already scored 13 points during the early minutes of the quarter. Mike Tolomia and Jared Dillinger scored a three-pointer a few possessions and Jared added another trey to give the lead back to the Bolts only for Walker to answer right back with another one from rainbow country.
A Baser Amer trey that was followed by a Newsome fastbreak put Meralco in the lead at 84-81 with 3:36 to play and Leo Isaac called for time. With the Bolts only by a point, Newsome added another lay-up approaching the final 2-minute mark with increased the lead to 3 which would go down to two after Walker made one of the two charities on the next possession. Digregorio added another pair of free throws to tie the game at 86-all and Elite left Baser Amer wide open from the three-point line and they paid the price as Amer nailed the three which put the Bolts up 3.
In the ensuing possession, Jared Dillinger as called for a flagrant foul after hitting Roi Sumang with 1:06 to go. Sumang nailed both technical free throws then Maliksi, who came over to the Elite off a trade from the Star Hotshots earlier this conference, scored on a jumper to put his team up by a point, at 90-89 with 33 ticks on the clock. Knowing that his team needed to score, Durham was able to fish a foul from the Elite but missed both free throws.

Fortunately, Newsome was able to snatch important offensive rebound and quickly passed the ball back to Durham who scored off his own missed shot which put his team back up at 91-90 with seconds to work with. Off a timeout, the Elite quickly went to Maliksi who drained a jumper to give the lead back to Blackwater and Norman Black called for another timeout with 9 seconds left. The Bolts weren’t able to score on the next scoring opportunity as Tolomia’s difficult shot rattled out of the basket as time ran out.

Henry Walker led the way with 30 points and 18 rebounds. Mike Digregorio, without a doubt, played one of his best games with the Elite as he added 20 points while Allen Maliksi added 15 points. The Bolts, on the other hand, had Chris Newsome who led them with 19 points while import Allen Durham and Cliff Hodge added 18 points apiece. Durham also had 21 rebounds to his name.
Shooting percentage was what won it for the Elite as they outperformed the Bolts, making 46% of their attempts including 52% of their attempts from the two-point area. In addition to this, Blackwater committed the lesser turnover in the second half. Free throw shooting was also essential to Blackwater’s victory as Meralco missed more free throws, including the last two from Durham.
Scores:
Blackwater – 92
Henry 30, Digregorio 20, Maliksi 15, Sumang 9, Eram 7, Sena 4, Marcelo 4, Canaleta 3, Belo 0, Miranda 0, Banal 0, Cervantes 0, Cruz, 0, Javier 0, Pinto 0
Meralco – 91
Newsome 19, Durham 18, Hodge 18, Dilinger 12, Tolomia 11, Amer 8, Hugnatan 5, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Lanete 0, Sedurita 0, Caram 0, Nabong 0, De Ocampo 0, Faundo 0
Quarter scores:
24-17, 42-40, 63-62, 92-91