The B in the Blackwater Bossing has more often than not referred to the bottom.

While the rest of the PBA has either been contending for championships or making surprise postseason runs, the Bossing have been racking up loss after loss, frequently finding themselves at the bottom of the standings. 

It would have been somewhat worthwhile if Blackwater’s defeats turned into franchise players, but their potential cornerstones are typically shipped to other teams after a year or two. As such, the Bossing’s roster has been a revolving group of players who end up playing on the wrong end of games. 

However, wins such as their 96-93 victory over the Meralco Bolts during the opening day of the 2024 Honda offer some promise. 

After trailing by eight points at the end of the first quarter, Blackwater rallied and built a lead that grew to as large as 19 points. The Bolts would make one last attempt to comeback and steal the victory in the fourth quarter, but newcomer Rey Nambatac knocked down free throws to keep the distance between the Bossing and Meralco. 

It’s no surprise that it was Nambatac who led Blackwater with 27 points and a career-high 10 assists. While he may not have the winning tradition seen with the likes of the San Miguel Beermen or the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, Nambatac nonetheless knows more about winning than the Bossing. 

Of course, one win doesn’t mean anything, more so given how Blackwater fared in the 2023-2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. After blowing out the Converge FiberXers in their conference opener, the Bossing proceeded to go winless in their next 10 games, joining the FiberXers at the bottom of the standings. 

What will be crucial moving forward is whether or not they build on this victory. Blackwater head coach Jeff Cariaso is in his second conference with the team and by now, he should have fully implemented his system. Despite the player movement, Cariaso has also been able to utilize some veterans in Troy Rosario, Rey Suerte, and Mike DiGregorio to provide some stability to the roster along with the additions of Nambatac and Yap. 

While he may not contribute so much to the oncourt production, James Yap has provided a boost off the court, drawing crowds for both the games and practices of the Bossing. Acquiring Yap and Nambatac goes to show that Blackwater are going in a certain direction. Only time will tell where that will lead. 

Earning their first victory in the 2024 Honda PBA Philippine Cup was well and good, but the Blackwater Bossing’s opening day win has parallels to how the last conference went. New additions and more time with Bossing head coach Jeff Cariaso’s system could be catalysts, but it will take more than another win to change the narrative surrounding Blackwater.