Jun 09, 2019

Blackwater coach Aries Dimaunahan cautions Elite from celebrating early

Blackwater coach Aries Dimaunahan warned his team against complacency as it enters the second half of their PBA Commissioner's Cup campaign.

The Elite are on the verge of securing a slot in the quarterfinals after winning five of six games, including Saturday's 132-106 romp of the NLEX Road Warriors at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Dimaunahan has a compelling reason to worry. Blackwater's past campaigns are not so encouraging.

In last season's Governors' Cup under former coach Bong Ramos, the Elite started their campaign with four straight victories on the way to a franchise best 6-1 record.

Then things turned for the worse. They lost their next four games as well as the luxury of a twice-to-beat advantage and were knocked out from quarterfinals by eventual champion Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok.

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"We just reminded the boys that it happened before," said Dimaunahan, who was Ramos' assistant at that time.

"We started 4-0 some conferences back, but somehow that time medyo nag-letup mga players, medyo nawala sa focus, medyo nagcelebrate at medyo nagkaroon ng konting complacency.

"We talked about it the last three days that we cannot let that happen again, learn from the mistake that happened some conference backs. I'm glad the players responded against NLEX," added Dimaunahan.

The next five games of the eliminations will be crucial for the Elite. Can they make a run deep into the playoffs? Or will they tread the same path as the previous Blackwater teams?

They play San Miguel Beer on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena and NorthPort on June 22 at the Cuneta Astrodome.

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Then they face Magnolia on July 5 at Mall of Asia, TNT KaTropa on July 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum before winding up their elimination campaign against Alaska on July 14 also at the Big Dome. (JT)