Star seizes Game 1 after standing strong against San Miguel rally

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 10, 2017 07:35 PM
Star seizes Game 1 after standing strong against SMB rally
TEAM WIN.

Paul Lee only had four points to his name to open the semifinals in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

And still, Star had all the answers against oncoming San Miguel.

Ricardo Ratliffe posted a big-time 26-point, 21-rebound double-double while Aldrech Ramos and Mark Barroca put in the big baskets in the endgame as the Hotshots topped the Beermen, 109-105, on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Star saw its once 13-point lead with three minutes remaining dwindle down to just one before Ramos restored order with a booming triple. “I told Aldrech, he’s there to spread the floor. Good thing he responded to my challenge,” head coach Chito Victolero said, nothing but appreciative of the unheralded contributor who proved to be a huge help in their Game 1 win in the best-of-five semifinals series.

Charles Rhodes split from the stripe to pull San Miguel again within three with eight ticks to go only to see Barroca coolly convert both of his free throws to put his squad back up by four.

Not long after, Alex Cabagnot muffed on his triple try and the Hotshots wrapped up their gutsy win. “It was all about our heart and our will to win. San Miguel kept fighting, but my players kept on fighting too,” Victolero said.

Victolero’s American reinforcement also had 10 turnovers, but more than made up for his errors by his activity on both ends. “It’s all about being aggressive and he did that,” the coach expressed.

Allein Maliksi also scored 26 points built on five treys for Star while Ramos and Barroca wound up with 11 and eight points, respectively.

For the Beermen, Rhodes did all he could 34 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and three steals. June Mar Fajardo added his own 24 points and nine rebounds.

Neither Cabagnot nor Marcio Lassiter had the counter for Ramos and Barroca in the endgame, however. San Miguel gets a chance for redemption on Monday.

BOX SCORES

STAR 109 - Ratliffe 26, Maliksi 26, Sangalang 12, Ramos 11, Barroca 8, Melton 8, Reavis 7, Lee 4, Simon 4, Jalalon 3.

SAN MIGUEL 105 - Rhodes 34, Fajardo 24, Santos 16, Lassiter 12, Cabagnot 8, Ross 7, Espinas 2, Tubid 2.

QUARTER SCORES: 23-22, 45-46, 75-72, 109-105.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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