Star frustrates NLEX to make 3rd straight semis this season

Paul Lintag on Sep 26, 2017 09:20 PM
Star frustrates NLEX to make 3rd straight semis this season
No. 4 Star limited NLEX to only 14 points in the final 12 minutes and the Hotshots became the first team to advance to the semifinals of the season-ending conference.

Star's vaunted defense strikes again.

The Hotshots practically suffocated the NLEX Road Warriors in the fourth quarter of their Governors' Cup quarterfinals matchup, scoring a big 89-77 win Tuesday at the MOA Arena.

No. 4 Star limited NLEX to only 14 points in the final 12 minutes and the Hotshots became the first team to advance to the semifinals of the season-ending conference.

Star will now wait for the winner of the Meralco-Blackwater showdown.

Import Kris Acox stepped up in the end game for the Hotshots after he almost signgle-handedly matched NLEX's output in the fourth. Acox fired 10 points for Star in the payoff period, playing his best game for the team since he replaced Malcolm Hill.

Acox finished with a total of 21 points on top of 12 rebounds and three assists. Paul Lee added 18 points, 10 of them also coming in the fourth.

"It's all about our perseverance, our desire, and our chemistry in defense," head coach Chito Victolero said.

"It's very hard for us because its our third game in five days. But because of our willingness to go deep into the playoffs, we made it," he added.

Meeting each other for the second time in three days, both Star and NLEX engaged in a close affair right from the start.

The Road Warriors would pick up some momentum in the third quarter, opening up a 61-53 lead before Star went on an 8-2 run entering the payoff period.

And then the Hotshots just shut down NLEX to advance to the next round.

Import Aaron Fuller led the way for the Road Warriors, scoring 16 points while Alex Mallari came off the bench to drop 15.

 

The scores:

STAR 89 - Acox 21, Lee 18, Sangalang 14, Pingris 8, Jalalon 7, Simon 7, Brondial 5, Ramos 3, Reavis 2, Barroca 2, Dela Rosa 2, Melton 0.

NLEX 77 - Fuller 16, Mallari 15, Alas 14, Fonacier 9, Quinahan 6, Tiongson 5, Baguio 5, Rios 4, Al-Hussaini 3, Taulava 0, Soyud 0.

Quarters: 23-22, 45-45, 61-63, 89-77.

 

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