Star makes late play for top 4 after rallying past NLEX

Paul Lintag on Sep 24, 2017 07:01 PM
Star makes late play for top 4 after rallying past NLEX
At 7-4, the Hotshots can sneak into the top four depending on the outcome of the Meralco-San Miguel game. The Bolts (8-2) and the Beermen (7-3) are playing as of press time.

Whether or not Star ends up with a twice-to-beat advantage in the Governors' Cup playoffs, the Hotshots have done everything they can to set themselves up for a playoff bonus.

Star got a 101-93 come-from-behind win over the NLEX Road Warriors Sunday at the Big Dome, making the playoff picture of the season-ending conference a lot more compicated that it already is.

At 7-4, the Hotshots can sneak into the top four depending on the outcome of the Meralco-San Miguel game. The Bolts (8-2) and the Beermen (7-3) are playing as of press time.

The only thing that was certain from the Star win is the fact that defending champion Ginebra earned a playoff bonus, joining TNT with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

"We have a proper mindset, ang kailangan lang naming gawin is to win," head coach Chito Victolero said.

"Whatever happens in the second game [Meralco-SMB] is not in our control. Ang control namin is yung game namin and I'm proud of my players, especially in the second half. They stepped up dun sa defense namin plus yung ball movement sa offense gumanda," he added.

Down by as many as 15 points in the first half, Star exploded in the third period to take control of the ball game.

The Hotshots fired 39 points in the pivotal quarter, taking the fight out of the Road Warriors behind a balanced attack. Before NLEX scored the game's last six points, Star had its largest lead of the game at 14 points, 101-87.

Five players scored in double figures for Star led by PJ Simon's 16 points. Paul Lee adde 15 while import Kristofer Acox was goodd for 14 points and 10 rebounds.

NLEX, who also ended up with a 7-4 record but ended up outside of the top 4 with an inferior quotient, got 16 points from Aaron Fuller. Alex Mallari and Larry Fonacier contributed 13 and 12 points respectively.

 

The Scores:

STAR 101 - Simon 16, Lee 15, Acox 14, Ramos 14, Barroca 13, Dela Rosa 8, Melton 6, Pingris 6, Sangalang 4, Jalalon 3, Brondial 2, Reavis 0.

NLEX 93 - Fuller 16, Mallari 13, Fonacier 12, Alas 9, Al-Hussaini 9, Quinahan 9, Lastimosa 8, Taulava 5, Tiongson 5, J. Villanueva 3, Soyud 3, Baguio 1, Rios 0.

Quarters: 17-25, 36-44, 72-69, 101-93.

 


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