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Star Hotshots demolish Batang Pier by 53 in PBA Quarters opener

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Sometimes, everything just goes right for a team.

This was this case in the PBA postseason opener with Star Hotshots, notwithstanding a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the GlobalPort Batang Pier as they score a 126-73 win to keep their Governor’s Cup tournament alive held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday afternoon.

After being down, 3-2 in the opening seconds after a Terrence Romeo triple the game became tied again at 7 before everything went the way of Star. Minutes later, Joe Devance’s free throws gave his squad its double-digit lead at 27-16 as they were able to maintain it for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, GlobalPort was just ice-cold from the field as they missed shot after shot that helped the Hotshots cruised to an early lead.

The superb start continued in the second quarter as every run made by Star was not countered by their opponents. The Hotshots had a 17-3 spurt in the middle of the quarter to make it a 30-point lead at 61-31 with Mic Pennisi hitting a three. After 24 minutes of play, Star managed to shoot an astounding 78% clip from the field at 29/50 shooting while dominating the fast break game, 20-0.

Despite the halftime break usually used as a momentum-breaker, Star kept on pounding against the Batang Pier as a 10-5 start in the first three minutes extended their lead to 43. The stretch was capped with a James Yap basket while still maintaining the tough defense on the other end. The big lead enabled Star to rest their reinforcement Marquis Blakely with less than five minutes to play in the third as they were up by an insurmountable lead. Seconds later, the Hotshots surpassed the century mark in scoring while Batang Pier was still struggling in turnovers, in addition to looking disoriented the whole game.

With no signs of slowing down, Star kept on running in transition as they fielded in most of their subs in the game. GlobalPort remained to have a hard time scoring in bunches as even crowd-favorite Jerwin Gaco added figures in the scoring column. Batang Pier’s offense was just not in this game as they hit the 60-point mark with 6:13 left in the match. Even playing in garbage time, Star Hotshots outscored GlobalPort in the entire fourth quarter.

Blakely topscored Star with 23 points, grabbed nine boards in just 24 minutes of playing time. Mark Barroca chipped in 16 markers on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting while Alex Mallari and James Yap contributed 15 points apiece.

In this one-sided affair, Star established the biggest separation in PBA playoff history. The winner-take-all game will be played on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Star (126) – Blakely 23, Barroca 16, Yap 15, Mallari 15, Melton 14, Simon 8, Taha 8, Maliksi 7, Devance 6, Alvarez 3, Gaco 3, Pennisi 3, Pingris 3, Allado 2, Reavis 0

GlobalPort (73) – Romeo 18, Famous 16, Miranda 5, Semerad 5, Pringle 4, Krayem 4, Isip 4, Jensen 2, Hayes 2, Mamaril 2, Pinto 2, Buenafe 1, Kramer 0, Taha 0

Quarters: 37-18, 73-35, 103-54, 126-73

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