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PBA: Blackwater relies on young blood to turn back Ginebra

Allein Maliksi and Blackwater took a big step in their youth development after beating defeating Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday. PBA Media Bureau

Mac Belo and JP Erram each scored 22 points, as Blackwater stunned Barangay Ginebra in an emphatic 94-77 win in the PBA Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.

Engaged in a close battle early in the fourth quarter, Blackwater tightened its defense, limiting Ginebra to just one field in a stretch that lasted nearly 7 minutes.

Up 87-77 with less than 3 minutes left, a 7-0 run sealed the deal for coach Leo Isaac and his crew.

Blackwater’s record now stands at 2-1, tying Ginebra.

Erram and Belo held their own against Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, shooting a combined 15 of 31 from the field and plucking down 18 rebounds. Erram finished with 4 blocks.

Besides LA Tenorio (3 3-pointers), no other Ginebra player scored from downtown.

Overall, Ginebra went just 3 of 19 in 3-point attempts (15%), while Blackwater made 7 of 18 (38%), with Belo’s 4 bombs leading the way.

Slaughter finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Tenorio added 16 points and 6 assists for Ginebra, which got little production from its bench.

Blackwater took control in the second quarter and through much of the third, before it got a taste of Ginebra’s signature never-say-die spirit.

A lead that was once as big as 13 points was reduced to 2 by Ginebra, 63-61, near the end of the third.

But behind a balanced scoring effort by young prospects Erram, Belo and Mike DiGregorio, as well as veterans Mike Cortez and Allein Maliksi, Blackwater held off Ginebra’s charge in the fourth to complete the upset.

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