BRIGHT STAR. Hotshots take 2-0 lead over Ginebra after gutsy Game 2 win
Paul Lintag on Feb 11, 2017 07:41 PM
Paul Lee was clutch again as Star took a commanding 2-0 lead against Ginebra in the Manila Clasico semis.
The 2017 Manila Clasico semis has been a treat... for Star fans.
Banking on more than one clutch sequence, the Hotshots took a commanding 2-0 lead against Brgy. Ginebra in their best-of-7 series Saturday after scoring a 91-89 victory at the MOA Arena in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.
Holding on to a dangerous 87-85 lead, Paul Lee once again came through for the Hotshots, taking the ball all the way to the hoop on a fastbreak layup that gave Star a four-point advantage with 58 seconds to go.
Scottie Thompson cut the lead back to two in the final 36 seconds but Rafi Reavis emerged as an unlikely hero for Star, coming up big to secure Star's eight straight win dating back to the elimination round.
With Lee missing the potential dagger with 13 seconds left, Reavis grabbed a crucial offensive rebound to keep Star's possession alive. The veteran big man then stepped in and made two clutch free throws for a 91-87 lead to basically ice the win.
"It's all about our big heart and our desire to win," head coach Chito Victolero said. "I'm very proud sa mga players ko dahil hindi sila naggive up. We know Ginebra will come out strong, we know it's a close game but it's all about the heart."
Lee led Star in scoring for the second straight game in this series, dropping 17 points while Allein Maliksi and Justin Melton both came off the bench to add 14 and 11 respectively.
Marc Pingris was steady once again with 10 points and eight rebounds and Reavis scored nine in extended minutes.
After taking a 10-point lead early in the first half, the Hotshots actually controlled most of the game until Ginebra closed in at the end of the third quarter.
The Gin Kings even took the lead, 83-81, with less than five minutes to go but Star proved to be the more composed team down the stretch.
Kevin Ferrer scored a career-high 25 points for Ginebra while Thompson accounted for 17 and 10 rebounds.
Japeth Aguilar finished with 16 points and 15 boards for the Gin Kings.
Game 3 is set Monday also at the MOA Arena.
STAR 91 - Lee 17, Maliksi 14, Melton 11, Pingris 10, Jalalon 9, Reavis 9, Barroca 8, Sangalang 6, Ramos 5, Dela Rosa 2, Simon 0, Brondial 0.
GINEBRA 89 - Ferrer 25, Thompson 17, Aguilar 16, Tenorio 8, Mariano 7, Mercado 6, Cruz 2, Caguioa 2, Ellis 2, Taha 2, Helterbrand 2, Marcelo 0, Jamito 0.
Quarterscores: 27-23, 50-45, 72-69, 91-89.
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