Star defense provides best game yet
Paul Lintag on Jan 16, 2017 03:27 PM
Ian Sangalang and the Hotshots shackled Jayson Castro's TNT to only 77 points on 40 percent shooting. The KaTropa came in averaging 100 points per game.
Since Chito Victolero took control of Star, all he's been preaching about is defense.
Sure, the Hotshots haven't gone on to the best start under his reign, going 4-4 in eight games so far, but his crew did put up their best defensive effort Sunday, proof that they may be closer to their goal than their record suggests.
Facing a TNT squad coming with with a league-best 100.7 points per game, Star shackled the KaTropa to a season-low 77 points on only 40 percent shooting, effectively taking out the flagship MVP franchise's greatest strength.
Of course, the Hotshots won.
"Sabi nga ni coach, our defense against their offense so kailangan talaga i-maintain yung depensa namin. Hindi opensa yung magpapanalo sa amin," forward Ian Sangalang said who led Star with 14 points in an 88-77 win.
"Yun game plan namin, hindi lalagpas ng 90 yung score nila. Much better na 77 lang yun naging score nila," he added.
After allowing Japeth Aguilar, Vic Manuel, and Calvin Abueva go wild on offense in their previous two defeats, Star has definitely learned its lesson of keeping the opponent's main man under control.
They did just that on TNT's Jayson Castro, making it easier to pull off the victory against the KaTropa.
"I'm very proud of our guys, they stepped up on defense especially on Castro. We learned a lot from our previous games, I told them yun ang magagamit natin sa mga darating na important games," Victolero said.
The Hotshot's final three games sure are important as Star is currently in a five-team logjam for the 5th-9th places. One will be elimated by the time regular season wraps up.
"Right now, wala pang nakakasigurado, siguro SMB pa lang. Sabi ko sa kanila, one game at a time lang," Victolero added.
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