By WAYLON GALVEZ
Games Wednesday (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Columbian Dyip vs Meralco
7 p.m. – Phoenix Fuel vs Blackwater
Columbian Dyip got off to a hot start with Fil-American Jeremy King and routed Blackwater, 126-98, last night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
King, picked from the free agency market after Rain or Shine made him an unrestricted free agent, made 30 points on 10-of-20 from the field and added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in more than 37 minutes of action.
Before donning the Columbian jersey, the sophomore guard out of Long Beach State played just nine games with Rain or Shine, averaging 2.8 points.
Columbian coach Ricky Dandan said King’s arrival allowed Rashawn McCarthy to move to his usual role of shooting guard.
“Even during the first conference, we’re already thinking of moving Rashawn to second spot (point guard). We searched the free agent market, Jeremy’s available and we made a move for him,” said Dandan, who is on his second conference as coach of the franchise.
Following the purchase of the distributor’s rights of Kia to Ayala Corp., team owner Palawan Gov. Pepito Alvarez changed the team’s name.
Kia won only once in 11 matches in the Philippine Cup.
“It’s good to win the first game,” said Dandan. “I expected the game to be more of grind. But more than anything else, it’s a change of attitude of our guys. That’s one change that is welcome.”
“We talked about that after last game last conference. We gave them a two-week break, and in training camp, the change in attitude. We should not play, and me not to coach them the same.”
“Of course, this is just the first game but it’s a big boost from where we come from,” added Dandan.
Four other Columbian players scored in double figure. McCarthy had 22 points, Carlo Lastimosa finished with 14 points, while Eric Camson and Ronald Tubid added 12 points apiece.
Columbian import Charles Aiken scored only nine points but collared 22 rebounds with two shots blocks.
Dandan said he hopes that Aiken will play more aggressively in their next two games against Meralco on Wednesday and NLEX on Saturday.
Blackwater import Jarrid Famous had 35 points and 22 rebounds although he committed 11 turnovers. Allein Maliksi and Mac Belo finished with 22 and 11 points respectively for the Elite.
COLUMBIAN 126 – King 30, McCarthy 22, Lastimosa 14, Camson 12, Tubid 12, Aiken 9, Celda 6, Corpuz 6, Khobuntin 6, Cahilig 5, Sara 4.
BLACKWATER 98 – Famous 35, Maliksi 22, Belo 11, Erram 8, Pinto 8, Marcelo 4, DiGregorio 2, Cruz 2, Sena 2, Palma 2, Jose 2, Sumang 0.
Quarterscores: 27-25, 59-55, 87-72, 126-98.