There couldn’t be a better way to start the new era for Blackwater under head coach Jeff Cariaso.
The Bossing put up a masterful performance and clobbered the Converge FiberXers,103-84, for a winning start in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Wednesday, Nov. 8.
Blackwater rode on a blistering third quarter run to break the game wide open and give Cariaso a winning return as head coach in the PBA while also ending a nine-game losing streak carrying over from the Governors’ Cup of last season.
The Bossing came out guns blazing to open the second half, unleashing a 22-6 rally that established a 26-point lead – an advantage Blackwater never relinquished until the final buzzer.
“I think it’s really the first game that you wanted to get under your belt a little bit because it’s the first game from a long layoff,” said Cariaso who not only helped Blackwater match its win total last conference but also notch a win against his former team.
“We felt like we’re practicing for a whole conference, ganoon yung feeling so despite whoever that first game was, it’s very important that we come out on the positive note and I think the guys did that tonight,” he added.
Puerto Rican import Chris Ortiz posted a double-double effort of 21 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while also getting ample support from his local supporting cast.
Jvee Casio added 15 points while Mike Ayonayon chipped in 13. Rey Suerte chalked up an all-around game of 12 points, six rebounds and five assists as Troy Rosario and Tyrus Hill chipped in 11 and 10 respectively.
The Bossing actually had to buck some first game jitters falling behind early, 15-4, before finally getting their groove with a 17-3 run to establish a double digit spread 48-36 midway through the second frame.
The FiberXers found some answers from import Tom Vodanovich and new addition Mac Tallo but they proved to be lacking for firepower to overcome the huge deficit in the second half.
Vodanovich paced Converge with 20 points and 18 rebounds while Mac Tallo announced his return to the big league with 15 points. Alec Stockton had 14 points while last season’s Rookie of the Year Justin Arana added 12 points and six boards.
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