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Blackwater guns for PBA quarterfinals berth

The Manila Times logo The Manila Times 19/07/2022 Rey Joble

THE last time Blackwater made the PBA playoffs was in the 2019 Commissioner's Cup. Then known as the Elite, the team made the quarterfinal round but lost to Rain or Shine, 2-1, in their best-of-three series.

Since then, it has been a struggle for the Bossing, who had not made it past the elimination round in four conferences. Blackwater also lost 29 straight games bridging two seasons and three conferences and set the record for the longest losing streak in PBA history.

Blackwater, however, had a promising start in the ongoing Philippine Cup, winning four in a row, but had lost three straight since then, including a game where the team matched the PBA record for fewest points in a quarter when it scored only two points in the first quarter.

But the Bossing remain in the thick of the fight for a playoff berth and they can secure it with a win against the Converge FiberXers today.

The Bossing and the FiberXers clash at 3 p.m. in an all-important match for both teams.

A win by Blackwater will send the team to the next round but things will become a lot more complicated if the team loses to Converge.

For Blackwater head coach Ariel Vanguardia, slumps such as this one is part of the growing pain of the squad.

"It's part of the process," wrote Vanguardia in a message via Messenger sent to The Manila Times.

"We need to learn to get out of the slump. But we need to stay humble and hungry."

Their true mettle shall be tested today.

Rain or Shine, another team fighting for survival, goes for a win to keep its flickering hopes alive for a playoff berth in the second game.

The Elasto Painters had won three straight games to stay in the hunt for a playoffs berth, but a loss against a Magnolia Timplados team that is already assured of a playoff berth in their 6 p.m. encounter would mean the end of the road for Chris Gavina and his troops.

Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

3 p.m. Blackwater vs Converge

6 p.m. Magnolia vs Rain or Shine

Team Standings: San Miguel (9-2), TNT (8-3), Barangay Ginebra (7-3), Magnolia (6-3), Meralco (6-4), Blackwater (5-4), NLEX (5-5), Rain or Shine (4-6), Converge (4-6), NorthPort (3-7), Phoenix (2-7), Terrafirma (0-10)

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