Cameron Krutwig (25) was a workhorse underneath the boards for Blackwater. —PBA IMAGES

Blackwater knows exactly what Terrafirma is going through right now.

“We’ve been in that situation last year,” said coach Ariel Vanguardia after the Bossing pulled off a 93-86 triumph over the Dyip in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


“I really feel [what we went through] last year through them.”But all Blackwater could do was commiserate as it had to do its part in stretching Terrafirma’s losing streak to 21 games—the second longest in league history.

Holders of the record for longest slump at 29 straight losses, Blackwater came in looking to do more than just avoid being a trivia question in the future. The Bossing also intended to snap a rollercoaster start as they plunge into a difficult stretch in their schedule.


They crossed off both to-dos, thanks to Cameron Krutwig, who had 29 points and 24 rebounds to seal their third victory in six outings—continuing a trend of recovering after a setback from the previous match. The Bossing were coming off a loss to the NorthPort Batang Pier, squandering an eight-point lead early in the fourth last Wednesday.A similar scenario almost occurred for Blackwater when Terrafirma, despite the struggles of import Lester Prosper, erased a 14-point deficit in the third quarter and flirted with the chance to finally snap a skid that has been running for eight months and three conferences.

And Vanguardia knows a similar performance won’t be enough for the Bossing entering a crucial phase of their schedule.

“Next game [against TNT] is gonna be tough, and we have to be consistent,” said Vanguardia as the schedule will decide if Blackwater can secure a second straight quarterfinal appearance. Blackwater battles TNT on Oct. 22 at Philsports Arena in Pasig City. Also up are Converge (Oct. 30), unbeaten Magnolia (Nov. 6), Meralco (Nov. 11), Barangay Ginebra (Nov. 18) and Rain or Shine (Nov. 25).

For the Dyip, the next few games will be even more hellish. And looking at the gauntlet they have to run through, it is clear they fell short in perhaps their best chance at finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Brutal stretchTerrafirma’s three-game stretch is brutal, with the visiting Bay Area Dragons first on Oct. 21, followed by Ginebra on Oct. 28 and TNT on Nov. 5.

After that, Terrafirma battles NorthPort on Nov. 12, NLEX on Nov. 18, San Miguel Beer on Nov. 23 and Phoenix on Nov. 26.The Dyip led at some portions of the game, the highest at 30-22 in the first half, before Krutwig conspired with Baser Amer, Troy Rosario and Ato Ular to put the Bossing in front.

But even after reducing a 58-44 deficit in the third and tying the count at 83-all entering the fourth, Terrafirma could not get the push-start it needed to get going as Krutwig took advantage of Prosper’s struggles on both ends with a three-point play that broke the ice for Blackwater.


“We had a 14-point lead in the third quarter,” Krutwig said. “[We] kind of let it slip away [but] we finally showed toughness and grit.”

Meanwhile, Phoenix drew huge games from its main cogs when needed and upset Barangay Ginebra in the second game. INQ

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