Blackwater import Greg Smith completely outclassed Rain or Shine counterpart Carl Montgomery and imposed himself the most in the crunch as the Elite subdued the Elasto Painters, 100-96, to force a do-or-die in their PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals matchup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
Smith piled up 31 points as against Montgomery's 11, and the Blackwater burly reinforcement himself delivered the money buckets as the Elite set the deciding Game Three Thursday.
Bobby Ray Parks had his prolific game with 28 points that went with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals while Mac Belo and Mike Digregorio added 14 and 13 markers, respectively, for the Elite who avoided what could have been a sorry exit in the midseason tourney.
"The players played really, really, really well. They refused to lose tonight and didn't want to go on vacation. That's the commitment we all have -- to make it to the next phase," said Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan.
Smith and Parks carried much of the fight as the Elite lived to fight another game and contend for a possible first-ever PBA semifinals stint.
Smith connected on a turnaround jumper as Blackwater all but settled the outcome of the game at 97-93 with 44 seconds left.
After Mark Borboran missed on the other end, Smith grabbed the defensive rebound and made it a five-point game on a split from the line with 27 ticks to go.
Parks fouled out with still 1:02 left, but he was a big factor as the Elite took control majority of the way, enjoying a biggest lead of 14.
Blackwater carried a 38-35 lead into the halftime break before erecting a big lead but Rain or Shine made a searing fightback led by Jayjay Alejandrino's 4-of-8 three-pointers.
Then the two teams engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle before the Elite won the battle in the end.
Rookie Javee Mocon fired 25 points in the E-Painters' failed closeout bid.
Borboran, Kris Rosales and Beau Belga were three other ROS players who hit in double figures.
But the E-Painters' balanced attack wasn't enough to negate Smith and Parks' 59-point combined output.
Blackwater 100 - Smith 31, Parks 28, Belo 14, Digregorio 13, Sena 4, Maliksi 3, Javier 3, Desiderio 2, Cortez 2, Sumang 0, Al-Hussaini 0.
Rain or Shine 96 - Mocon 25, Borboran 13, Belga 13, Alejandro 12, Montgomery 11, Rosales 10, Nambatac 9, Ponferada 2, Onwubere 1, Norwood 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 38-35, 68-64, 100-96