The Purefoods Star Hotshots opened the match with a 31-7 first quarter finish that propelled them to a 120-86 blowout win over the Alaska Aces in Game 1 of their best-of-three series held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Purefoods showcased a blazing start to the series with a flurry of perimeter baskets from their starting unit. A 12-1 start distanced themselves against the shocked Alaska team, which committed three turnovers early that hurt their chances of making their first basket from the field. Moreover, good ball movement enabled the Star Hotshots four early assists on their first five shots. Joe Devance drilled in two quick triples in the early frenzy for Purefoods in that opening quarter stretch.
Despite Cyrus Baguio providing Alaska’s first basket of the game, which served to be his lone make of the game, the rampage continued on with PJ Simon converting on five quick points, including a corner triple for Purefoods. As the Aces continued their horrible start, James Yap made a floater that made it a 23-5 affair with less than half of a quarter to play in the opening frame. The hot start propelled the Star Hotshots to finish the first quarter with a lead larger than their opponent’s offensive output.
RJ Jazul knocked down back-to-back triples for Alaska to start the second period, and helped the Aces get their offensive game going. Damion James also added a shot from downtown, but Purefoods kept on responding with their own baskets to maintain their over 20-point spread over Alaska.
Damion James made Alaska’s scoring output run during the second quarter, but the duo of James Yap and PJ Simon countered in favor of Purefoods. Despite the dramatic increase in scoring production for Alaska, compared to their poor opening quarter, the Star Hotshots still managed to outscore them by a point and enter halftime holding a commanding lead.
In the third quarter, the teams exchanged baskets mostly from the perimeter area, but the momentum was still in favor of Purefoods as they maintained their wide gap against the Aces. Denzel Bowles started his production together with James Yap’s floater to extend the lead to 71-46. Freethrows by lefty Alex Mallari late in the third quarter made it a 30-point spread in the blowout.
Purefoods maintained their good execution in the fourth period as the bench players provided the finishing kick in the match. A triple by Mark Barroca ballooned the lead to 33 at 96-63. As garbage time came to play and the game already decided, the final score was left to be settled in the one-sided affair.
Purefoods ended the match shooting a 61% clip compared to Alaska’s 39%. They also outrebounded the Aces 51-39, and drained in four more three pointers.
Six Hotshots ended in double figures topped by Denzel Bowles’ 20 markers, while Yap chipped in 18.
Purefoods (120) – Bowles 20, Yap 18, Barroca 14, Simon 13, Pingris 11, Devance 10, Pennisi 8, Maliksi 6, Reavis 5, Melton 5, Mallari 4, Gaco 4, Allado 2
Alaska (86) – James 21, Jazul 12,Hontiveros 10, Banchero 9, Eman 8, Dela Rosa 6, Casio 6, Abueva 4, Baclao 4, Baguio 2, Dela Cruz 2
Quarters: 31-7, 54-29, 88-59, 120-86
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