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Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Hotshots whip NLEX by 24 for first win


After losing back-to-back games, Purefoods Star Hotshots have finally barged into the win column after outclassing NLEX Road Warriors, 99-75, in the 2018 Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday Night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Hotshots’ 24-point drubbing of the Road Warriors serves as a huge bounce-back win after losing two straight close games — the first one against San Miguel Beer 96-88 and the following versus Globalport 91-84.

But despite their impressive showing especially in the offensive end in which they shot an excellent 36 of 69 from the field, Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero attributed their victory with their defense.

“It’s about our defense kasi nag-commit yung mga players sa defensive plan namin,” said Victolero. “Yung desire and willingness nila manalo [nandoon],” he added.

Victolero also lauded the players’ effort tonight in which he saw the sense of urgency coming from his players just to avoid a 0-3 hole.

“Down 0-2 kami, and we need to step up and have that sense of urgency. I’m very happy and very proud sa mga players kasi nag-step up talaga sila,” said the former Mahindra head coach.

Star was on a comfortable 75-57 lead early in the final period, but the Road Warriors received timely baskets from Asi Taulava, Kevin Alas, and Garvo Lanete to give the Hotshots a scare and trim the deficit to just eight, 79-71, in the 5:27 mark.

From that point on, the Hotshots then stepped on the gas come the closing minutes, unfurling a huge 20-4 scoring spree anchored by the backcourt tandem of Jio Jalalon and Paul Lee to keep the Road Warriors at bay en route to the 24-point victory.

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Lee was the top scorer for Star with 20 markers, but Jalalon was adjudged as the game’s best player, scoring 17 points on 5 of 8 shooting and five steals. Allain Maliksi had 15, while Ian Sangalang made 13.

The Road Warriors, who have dropped to 1-2, were led by Carlo Lastimosa and Jonas Villanueva with 11 points each. Villanueva scored nine in the opening frame alone.

Star clearly had a better outing collectively, outrebounding the much bulked up NLEX frontcourt 44-38. They also dished the ball better, tallying 21 assists, eight dimes better than the Road Warriors’ 13.

Star (1-2) will face Phoenix Fuel Masters this Friday, December 9, at 5 PM, while NLEX will look to bounce back against Blackwater next Wednesday, December 14, at 4:15 PM.

The Scores:

Star (99) – Lee 20, Jalalon 17, Maliksi 15, Sangalang 13, Ramos 13, Barroca 10, Pingris 6, Simon 2, Melton 2, Abundo 1, Javier 0, De Leon 0.

NLEX (75) – Lastimosa 11, J. Villanueva 11, Alas 10, Lanete 10, Anthony 7, Soyud 7, Khobuntin 5, Guinto 4, Baracael 4, Taulava 2, Monfort 2, Camson 2, Gotladera 0.

Quarterscores: 23-20, 42-39, 71-57, 99-75.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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