The GlobalPort Batang Pier clinched its third victory in as many games as they outlasted the Star Hotshots, 91-89 in a closely-contested affair held at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday afternoon.
The Star Hotshots, who sported their new red and yellow themed jerseys got off a quick 6-0 start to the ball game while GlobalPort missed their first three shots. The layups and driving game of Star capped by an Alex Mallari penetration doubled the output of the Batang Pier at 12-6. Carrying their hot streak from their last outing, the three-point shooting came to aid GlobalPort as they pushed an 8-2 response including triples coming from Semerad and Krayem. The rally triggered the offense game by the Batang Pier as they ended the opening quarter up by seven.
In the second, PJ Simon and Justin Melton came off the bench productively as their baskets gave the Hotshots the lead back at 30-27. GlobalPort’s poor transition game led to easy counters on the other end that went in favor of the Hotshots. They led almost the entire quarter as the reinsertion by Marquis Blakely came in timely for his team. Baskets at the dying seconds by Terrence Romeo and a tip in by Doug Kramer sliced the deficit down to five heading into the break.
The offensive exchange continued in the fast-paced third period, with the starters trading baskets in the opening minutes of the second half. A steal by Blakely led to a tomahawk jam that gave them a 55-48 lead. Lead didn’t last long for Star, with Stanley Pringle and Omer Krayem chipping baskets to help GlobalPort keep up with the Hotshots’ pace.
Ronjay Buenafe knocked down a wide open corner triple to swing the lead back to their favor. However, the Hotshots countered quickly with Peter June Simon scoring six of the game’s next eight points to give them a 78-72 advantage. GlobalPort struggled handling the ball with Star’s pressure defense that led to turnovers while the Hotshots capitalized on such.
Omar Krayem carried the comeback late for the Batang Pier as he scored consecutive baskets including two straight treys to make it an 86-82 game once again in their favor. The Hotshots won’t go down easily as James Yap and Mark Barroca made two straight layups for their squad to even things up again.
After a series of stops by both teams, Doug Kramer muffs his two under goal stabs but Romeo was in the right place to score on an uncontested lay in to give them a two-point lead. GlobalPort would then make a stop but Romeo failed to convert twice on his shots that gave the Star Hotshots a crack to even the game anew with half a minute to go. However, the Hotshots committed a pivotal turnover late while Stanley Pringle converts on the other end to make it a two-possession game. Despite Blakely making a putback on their side, the Hotshots failed to get the possession back en route to an escape victory by GlobalPort.
Star got more points from the paint, 44-26 and scored more on the transition, 19-11. However, GlobalPort committed less turnovers, 15-22 while sizzled from perimeter as they drained 13 more triples. Batang Pier improves to 3-0 while Star has now a 1-1 slate.
The Batang Pier will next face the San Miguel Beermen while Star will lock horns next against the Meralco Bolts. Both games will be played on Sunday, May 17 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
GlobalPort (91) – Krayem 20, Romeo 17, Pringle 15, Thomas 12, Buenafe 8, Kramer 7, Miranda 3, Semerad 3, Isip 2, Mamaril 2
Star (89) – Blakely 19, Yap 12, Mallari 11, Simon 10, Barroca 9, Melton 8, Pingris 6, Pennisi 5, Devance 5, Maliksi 4, Reavis 0
Quarters: 23-16, 43-38, 68-65, 91-89