Cariaso says replica of franchise-best start ‘nothing to be boastful for’

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Blackwater rookie Christian David in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

Blackwater coach Jeff Cariaso wrapped the customary postgame presser for winning mentors on Wednesday night, clearly not allowing himself to get too high over his charges’ 90-78 whipping of Converge for a 3-0 start in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup.

And for a very good reason.

“We all know that we have nothing to be proud of yet, nothing to be boastful for,” he told the Inquirer as he walked back to the team’s dugout. “We know how things could quickly turn around out here.”

The win allowed the Bossing to take leadership of the young all-Filipino tournament, but that is hardly an indication of success according to Cariaso, who has seen a lot throughout his long career as a pro and now 10 years as a coach.

What takes up much of his headspace is making sure that the team’s new pickups get a thorough understanding of Blackwater’s vision.

“We still have to ensure that the likes of Jaydee (Tungcab) and James K(wekuteye) get what we’re trying to do,” he said.Best since 2019

Fortunately, those are the only players he has to worry about as Blackwater’s other young players have been playing splendidly throughout the club’s promising start.

Second overall pick Christian David turned in another commendable scoring performance, this time leading the Bossing with 16 points. Rey Suerte had 14 built on a hot long-distance shooting, while RK Ilagan and Richard Escoto both finished 12 points each in the effort.

The production was so spread out that Rey Nambatac, who put up 27 in his club debut last week, and Troy Rosario hardly needed to chip in the win that gave the franchise its first 3-0 start since coach Aris Dimaunahan and a Ray Parks Jr.-led squad did it during the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.

Blackwater led by as many as 35 points in the rout, but Converge wound up scoring twice as much in the fourth which had Cariaso troubleshooting, rather than basking in, the team’s win.

“We’re not perfect. We still have lots [up] for improvement. Especially when we make subs, we want to maintain that same intensity and focus. But so far it’s a good start,” he said.“We’re staying humble, we’re staying focused, because we know how quick things could turn so we’re just going to keep working hard.”



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On tap for Blackwater is NLEX, which is playing Meralco as of press time. Converge, meanwhile, hopes that its dry spell, which has been dragging on for seven games counting the previous conference, finally gets it together when it battles the Road Warriors this Saturday.





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