Cebuana Lhuillier gave new coach Beaujing Acot his first victory as head coach as the Gems cruised past Blackwater Sports, 101-84, in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the San Juan gym.
Aspirants Cup Most Valuable Player Vic Manuel posted 20 points and 14 rebounds while Kevin Alas, who turned in a one-point performance in their loss against NLEX last Thursday, redeemed himself in this one, scoring 18 points.
Lester Alvarez scored 18 of his own, including 11 in the third quarter, as the Gems forged a three-way tie for second place with Blackwater and Big Chill at 4-2.
Acot came out victorious in his second game since taking over for Luigi Trillo, who was appointed interim head coach of the Alaska Aces in the PBA last week.
The ex-University of Santo Tomas assistant and current coach of Rizal Technological University received his baptism of fire in his debut against NLEX, where Cebuana was ripped apart, 76-63.
Doing away with Trillo’s triangle offense in favor of an open-court style, the Gems turned a closely-fought encounter early into a rout. They held leads of up to 23 points in garbage time.
“Bonus lang to for us,” said Acot. “May one-day preparation kami for NLEX then three-day preparation for Blackwater so sana in a few games talagang maka-adapt na sila sa system na pinapasok namin.”
Blackwater’s woes began when Fil-American center Kelly Nabong was tossed at the end of the second quarter after he elbowed Alas in the nose. Upon review, the referees ruled that Nabong committed a Flagrant Foul Penalty-2 which resulted in an automatic ejection.
Paul Zamar, Clark Bautista and Gio Ciriacruz led Blackwater with 13 points apiece in the losing effort. AJ Mandani added 12 for the Elite.
Nabong scored 11 before his dismissal.
CEBUANA LHUILLIER 101 – Manuel 20, Alas 18, Alvarez 18, Exciminiano 10, Mangahas 8, Lozada 8, Llagas 6, Atkins 6, Almazan 5, Apinan 2, Austria 0, Maconocido 0.
BLACKWATER 84 – Zamar 13, Bautista 13, Ciriacruz 13, Mandani 12, Nabong 11, Pascual 8, Jeffries 6, Camus 4, Celiz 4, Montemayor 0, Fortuna 0, Ciriacruz 0.
Quarters: 17-20; 46-40; 78-63; 101-84.