Star shuts down Meralco to take control of solo no. 1

Paul Lintag on May 24, 2017 09:47 PM
Star shuts down Meralco to take control of solo no. 1
The Hotshots are now a full game ahead of everybody else in the standings after improving to 8-2 and dropping the Bolts to 7-3.

Teams will now have to reach for the Star as the Hotshots have officially taken over the number 1 spot in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

Star took control of the top spot in the mid-season joust after a convincing rout 108-90 of Meralco Wednesday at the Big Dome.

The Hotshots are now a full game ahead of everybody else in the standings after improving to 8-2 and dropping the Bolts to 7-3.

"Before this game I told my players that it is a defensive game. Proper mindset and mental toughness was very important," head coach Chito Victolero said.

"I'm very happy with the result, we played for 48 minutes with Star Hotshots basketball, with proper defense and we did a good job on [Alex] Stephenson, limiting him dun sa activity niya inside," he added.

Star was all business right from the get go as the Hotshots rode the scoring exploits of import Ricardo Ratliffe to unload a 16-0 run for an early 12-point lead, 23-11.

The Hotshots would pretty much control the entire game but their defense really clicked in the fourth quarter to completely shut down the Bolts. At one point, Star was up by as many as 21 points, 98-77, as the team rolled to its fourth straight win.

"Meron kaming chance sa top spot or top 2 pero di pa namin hawak yung chance na yun. Kasi hindi natin alam mangyayari sa other teams like San Miguel and Ginebra. Pero maganda yung chance namin, at least meron pa for the top 2 spot," Victolero said as Star continues to chase a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.

Ratliffe was once again an absolute beast for the Hotshots, going for 32 points and 13 rebounds while Paul Lee emerged as the top local after scoring 16 points.

Mark Barroca added 12 for Star while Gilas boys Allein Maliksi and Jio Jalalon were good for 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Bolts, who now lost two straight, got 25 points from Chris Newsome but import Alex Stephenson was a none factor as he only managed nine points before fouling out in the final period.

 

The scores:

STAR 108 - Ratliffe 32, Lee 16, Barroca 12, Maliksi 11, Jalalon 10, Sangalang 8, Simon 7, Brondial 3, Reavis 3, Abundo 2, Melton 2, Ramos 2, Dela Rosa 0, Javier 0.

MERALCO 90 - Newsome 25, Nabong 17, Dillinger 15, Stepheson 9, Caram 9, Hodge 5, Amer 4, Chua 2, Daquioag 2, Hugnatan 2, Lanete 0, Uyloan 0, Faundo 0.

Quarterscores: 27-15, 54-45, 81-75, 108-90.

 


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