Star back on track after gutsy win over Elite
Paul Lintag on Apr 22, 2017 05:23 PM
Seven Hotshots scored at least nine points as Star improves to 5-2 for the Commissioner's Cup.
It took them a while but it appears that the Hotshots are back on track.
Star snapped a two-game slide in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, scoring a 96-90 victory over the Blackwater Elite Saturday at the MOA Arena.
Losing control as Blackwater rode the hot hands of KG Canaleta, the Hotshots had to rely on a total team effort in the final period to secure the win.
Star unloaded a 16-2 to start the fourth quarter, turning a five-point deficit into a nine-point lead they never gave up.
The Hotshots now head into the All-Star break with an impressive 5-2 mark.
"I'm very happy, especiually on our defense because we reviewed all the games and I showed them the difference sa panalo namin at talo namin. It's all about the defense," head coach Chito Victolero said.
"Sabi ko sa kanila nung Philippine Cup, wala pa tayong three-game losing streak. Wag natin dagdagan yung talo para ma-break yung losing streak natin," he added.
Import Tony Mitchell led a balanced Star offense, scoring 17 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Paul Lee meanwhile led six locals with at least nine points as the veteran guard dropped 15. Rookie Jio Jalalon was good for 13 points off the bench.
Canaleta led the Elite with 27 points but went scoreless in the fourth period. Blackwater now dropped to 1-6 after losing back-to-back games.
Import Greg Smith contributed 22 points, 29 rebounds, and six assists.
STAR 96 - Mitchell 17, Lee 15, Jalalon 13, Melton 10, Maliksi 10, Sangalang 9, Barroca 9, Reavis 6, Dela Rosa 4, Simon 3, Javier 0, Brondial 0.
BLACKWATER 90 - Canaleta 27, Smith 22, DiGregorio 11, Pascual 8, Sena 8, Cruz 6, Pinto 4, Gamalinda 2, Cervantes 2, Buenafe 0.
Quarters: 21-23, 48-42, 65-70, 96-90.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8