ALASKA would not be the first team Blackwater would beat with a fightback.
Vic Manuel made sure of that.
Manuel came off the bench to score 27 points he laced with some crucial baskets and led the Aces past the Elite 93-74 Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Antonio Campbell also did his part on offense with a second straight double-double of 23 points and 19 rebounds and the Aces also had their suffocating defense to thank for their first win in two games.
Much like what it did in a 102-107 loss to Phoenix last Wednesday, Blackwater did wage a fightback, trimming what was a 30-point second quarter deficit to just seven early in the final quarter.
The rigors of waging such a prolonged and scrappy fightback did ultimately take its toll on the Elite and they seemed to be just running on vapors in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Manuel, meanwhile, led the way for the Aces with 15 of his points in the fourth period, ensuring their bounce-back from a 103-109 overtime loss to Rain or Shine last Friday.
“When you get a lead like that and you feel the game that way ang tendency talaga ng player is to be complacent,” explained Alaska coach Alex Compton, while also lauding Blackwater’s grit.
“Credit to coach Leo Isaac,” said Compton. “I don’t know what he told his team at halftime, but obviously… it helped.”
Not enough to prevent Blackwater from absorbing its third loss in as many games, though.