FILE–Rain or Shine’s Rey Nambatac. –PBA IMAGES
Blackwater found itself in a tangle of messes on Wednesday, with a 107-90 beatdown in the PBA Philippine Cup at the hands of Rain or Shine looking to be the least of the franchise’s concern.
The Bossing, who are hoping to use this conference as a means to give their club image a facelift, got sucked up into a controversy after one of its players—injured guard Paul Desiderio—faced accusations of domestic abuse following revealing social media posts by his estranged partner, former college courtside reporter Agatha Uvero, late Tuesday night.
Blackwater has distanced itself from the controversy, saying it will launch its own probe and come out with a position on the issue only if the accusations are proven true and if “the concerned player consents.”
“It’s unfortunate if it’s true,” said Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia of the abuse allegations. “But you know, Paul also deserves his side. Let’s not judge Paul. I hope we hear his side also. But I’m not here as an expert to comment on it. It’s his personal life.”
Uvero accused Desiderio, with whom she has a son, of physically assaulting her several times—even strangling her.
Rey Nambatac scored 26 points on a backup role, while rookie Gian Mamuyac chipped in 20 more as a starter to help Rain or Shine to a second straight victory after absorbing six consecutive losses in the centerpiece tournament.
“Our guys were able to put together two consecutive excellent performances. Being consistent is a talent, and being excellent is a habit. It showed [today],” said Elasto Painters coach Chris Gavina, whose charges improved to 3-6.
Nambatac set an example for the team, accepting a role off the bench to give the Elasto Painters’ young guns the chance to grow into their roles.
“Rey said it—that our young guys have embraced their bigger roles, and it’s allowed him to be more him coming off the bench where the defense isn’t necessarily set,” Gavina said.
Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser finished with 19 points to lead the Bossing, who were still reeling from an overtime loss to powerhouse San Miguel Beer.
“Every team that we’re about to play, their backs are against the wall. We’re expecting the best out of them. We have to level up what we’re doing,” said Vanguardia, whose squad dropped to 5-3.
Blackwater’s off-court troubles have dragged the league into the picture.
The PBA released a statement saying it does not tolerate “any form of domestic abuse” and that it will look at the issue with the expectation that the Bossing franchise will fully cooperate with the probe.