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Balanced offense propels Hotshots in victory over Elite for share of top spot

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Led by another stellar output by their reinforcement, Marqus Blakely, five Purefoods Hotshots scored in double digits en route to a 98-86 victory over the Blackwater Elite at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The opening quarter was a showcase of shooting from both squads as they made it close for the first twelve minutes. Trailing by six points in the middle of the quarter, James Yap made two straight baskets to trim the lead and eventually trigger an 8-0 run for Purefoods to seize control.

Blakely anchored the interior defense for Purefoods as Blackwater settled for outside shots during the start. The Elite had its inside game mostly coming from Marcus Douthit who also played huge in the offensive rebounding game and putbacks.

In the second period, Blackwater managed to hold on to a small lead but Purefoods countered with another rally. Joe Devance scored on an and-one play to cement a 10-0 run which also included a Blakely slam that ignited their momentum.

Despite the Elite doing damage with their midrange jumpers, the locals started to make noise for Purefoods led by inside scoring from Mark Pingris in the second canto. Pingris’ unquestioned hustle helped Purefoods to several second chance points which allowed them to enter the halftime break up by eight, 52-44.

Bryan Faundo scored on three baskets for the Elites to help them start a comeback. However, the bench players of Purefoods made their impact felt during the third frame as they outscored their Blackwater counterparts particularly in the late moments of the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter, the Hotshots remained on top, 74-63.

In the fourth quarter, Purefoods made the right plays to halt the chances of a Blackwater comeback. Their bench provided enough firepower to retain and even increase their insurmountable gap at that point. Justin Melton also drained a corner triple which served as the nail in the coffin and to top it off, Blakely served up an alley-oop jam as the icing on the cake.

Blakely was the highest scorer for Purefoods as he scattered 23 points while also grabbing 13 rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting. Pingris also had a stellar outing with his 14 points and seven rebounds.

For Blackwater, it was Douthit who led the charge with his 30 points and 11 boards and was two assists shy of a triple-double.

Purefoods’ inside presence was unstoppable in the match as they outscored Blackwater 52-32 while also outplaying them in fastbreak offense, 21-2. The bench players also outplayed their counterparts from the Elites, 41-28.

The scores:
Purefoods 98 – Blakely 23, Pingris 14, Barroca 13, Melton 12, Maliksi 12, Yap 9, Devance 7, Mallari 4, Taha 2, Reavis 2, Simon 0, Alvarez 0, Gaco 0, Allado 0, Pennisi 0.
Blackwater 86 – Douthit 30, Faundo 14, Heruela 10, Gamalinda 9, Laure 6, Canada 5, Acuna 5, Bulawan 4, Celiz 3, Timberlake 0, Reyes 0, Nuyles 0, Erram 0, Ballesteros 0, Austria 0.

Quarters: 23-23, 52-44, 74-63, 98-86

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