The Star Hotshots overcame a slow first half to complete a come-from-behind finish and throw the NLEX Road Warriors’ playoff incentive aspirations in tatters, 101-93, Sunday night at a packed SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Star improves their card to 7-4, and their victory helped sister team Barangay Ginebra clinch a twice-to-beat edge. For now, the Hotshots are at number four, and it may changed depending on the San Miguel-Meralco match result.
Meanwhile, the Road Warriors have kissed goodbye to their twice-to-beat advantage hopes and have dropped to the fifth spot. And similar to Star’s case, their position depends on the second game’s result.
“Ang kailangan lang namin gawin is to win,” said Star head coach Chito Victolero. “Maganda yung execution namin sa second half, naka-adjust kami. Now we just need to wait, kung anong place namin, sinong kalaban namin.”
Five Hotshots scored in double figures, with Peter June Simon leading the pack with 16 points on eight attempts. Paul Lee supplied 15 markers, while Kristofer Acox finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds with two steals.
Once down by as many as 15 in the first half, the Hotshots rallied strong come the final canto. A 7-2 spurt capped by Justin Melton’s corner triple lifted them to their first-ever double-digit lead, 91-81, with 4:28 remaining.
The team in gold then sustained the advantage all the way. Marc Pingris’ hook shot gave Star its’ biggest lead of the game at 14 points, 101-87, with just 1:01 left to play, enough to send the Road Warriors down and out.
Aldrech Ramos and Mark Barroca produced 14 and 13 markers for Star, respectively.
Import Aaron Fuller led the Road Warriors with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Alex Mallari made 13 points on top of six rebounds and four assists, while Larry Fonacier added 12 markers spiked by two three-pointers.
Star 101 – Simon 16, Lee 15, Acox 14, Ramos 14, Barroca 13, Dela Rosa 8, Melton 6, Pingris 6, Sangalang 4, Jalalon 3, Brondial 2, Reavis 0.
NLEX 93 – Fuller 16, Mallari 13, Fonacier 12, Alas 9, Al-Hussaini 9, Quinahan 9, Lastimosa 8, Taulava 5, Tiongson 5, J. Villanueva 3, Soyud 3, Baguio 1, Rios 0.
Quarterscores: 17-25, 36-44, 72-69, 101-93.
Rival coaches agree: Ramil de Jesus should coach National Team
Tyrus Hill, Kurt Lojera transfer to La Salle
Lady Eagles survive Golden Tigresses to clinch Final Four spot
Ateneo taking costly UP loss in stride
Kevin Belingon demolishes Andrew Leone, stakes claim as top contender
Giorgio Petrosyan, Nong-o Gaiyanghadao shine in Super Series debut
Honorio Banario frustrates Adrian Pang, stays unbeaten at lightweight
Clinical Gina Iniong outpoints Jenny Huang for bounce back win
Tiger Spikers squeeze into Final Four, outlast Soaring Falcons
Bryan Bagunas, Bulldogs end four-year curse against Blue Eagles
Tamaraws stamp twice-to-beat ticket, eliminate Green Spikers
Lady Falcons outmuscle Golden Tigresses in Season 80 finale
- ADMU2 days ago
Wendel Comboy, FEU rally from 17 down to stun Ateneo; Jun Manzo, UP hold off Letran
- ADMU5 days ago
Ateneo official says it was players decision not to attend National Team tryout
- FEU4 days ago
SMART Sports Player of the Week Bernadeth Pons continues to embrace the pressure
- Basketball4 days ago
Ricci Rivero still uncertain about collegiate career