Star destroys Meralco to make Philippine Cup Playoffs
Paul Lintag on Jan 28, 2017 05:33 PM
Allein Maliksi played another brilliant game for Star, dropping 25 points and five rebounds in just a little over 20 minutes of play.
Antipolo City --- With a clear path to the number 2 spot in sight, the Star Hotshots are plowing through their 2017 Philippine Cup schedule in order to get that playoff bonus.
Playing the penultimate game of their 11-game set, the Hotshots handed the Meralco Bolts their worst loss in franchise history after an emphatic 120-73 decision Saturday at the Ynares Center here.
It was Star's third straight win to up its record to 6-4, becoming the fifth team to enter the quarterfinals in the All-Filipino. It was also the team's second 40-point victory this season.
The Hotshots dropped a 44-point hammer on Phoenix last December 10 at the MOA Arena.
"I'm very happy with our defense," head coach Chito Victolero said. "I challenged my players na we need to be mentally tough on this game kasi nakakatakot Meralco eh, unang-una tinalo nila Rain or Shine."
"I'm very happy nasa quarters kami," he added as the Hotshots returned to the playoffs following a nightmare of an ending in their last PBA season.
Allein Maliksi played another brilliant game for Star, dropping 25 points and five rebounds in just a little over 20 minutes of play. Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon backed him up as the backcourt duo came away with 15 points apiece.
Star inflicted most of the damage in the second and third quarters, outscoring the Bolts by a combined 38 points, 62-34.
At one point, the Hotshots led by as much as 55 points,104 - 99, early in the fourth.
Chris Newsome was the lone double-digit scorer for Meralco with 13 points. The Bolts crashed out of the Philippine Cup with a 3-8 record.
The previous worst loss of Meralco as a franchise came six years ago at this same arena, a 95-139 beating at the hands of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
STAR 120 - Maliksi 25, Lee 15, Ramos 13, Melton 10, Barroca 10, Sangalang 10, Abundo 8, Reavis 4, De Leon 3, Abundo 3, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 2, Pingris 0.
MERALCO 73 - Newsome 13, Al Hussaini 9, Hugnatan 7, Amer 7, Uyloan 6, Caram 6, Grey 5, Chua 4, Faundo 4, Dillinger 4, Daquioag 3, Hodge 3, Yeo 2, Nabong 0.
Quarterscores: 28-19, 63-31, 90-43, 120-73
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