SWEEP! Bolts advance to the Finals after tough OT win vs. Star
Paul Lintag on Oct 05, 2017 09:50 PM
Meralco swept Star in the semifinals of the Governors' Cup, 3-0, and will meet either defending champion Ginebra or sister team TNT in the championship round.
Meralco's revenge tour is almost complete.
The no. 1 Bolts advanced the the Finals of the 2017 Governors' Cup following a pulsating 91-88 overtime win over the Star Hotshots Thursday at the Big Dome.
Meralco swept Star in the semifinals, 3-0, and will meet either defending champion Ginebra or sister team TNT in the championship round.
After fighting through a stalemate in the first 48 minutes, the Bolts founf just enough offense in extra time to end the Hotshots' season.
Jared Dillinger hit a booming three to break an 83-all tie before clamping down on defense to deny Star of multiple good attempts at the basket. Ranidel De Ocampo, acquired in a late-conference trade, then scored a long two with 1:21 to go to give Meralco a five-point lead.
Cliff Hodge appeared to nail the dagger after hitting a triple with 18 seconds to go but Mark Barroca immediately took it back four seconds later for the final tally.
Down three with seven seconds left, Star won a jump ball but Jio Jalalon's final attempt at a game-tying three was way off.
"I never expected a Star team to give up, a lot of credit goes to coach Chito for leading a team and fightin it out tonight despite missing Paul Lee," head coach Norman Black said.
"We knew they would come out fighting, we knew they would come out with a lot of pressure. We really had to gut it out, hard-fought victory for us but in the end it's worth it because we get to move to the championship," he added.
Five players scored in double figures for Meralco led by import Allen Durham with 24 points on top of 19 rebounds and six assists.
Cliff Hodge added 18 points and eight boards while RDO was good for 13 markers and seven rebounds.
For Star, it was Mark Barroca that led the way as the veteran point guard fired 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists. Marc Pingris added 16.
However, a bummber for the Hotshots was import Kris Acox who was practically a non-factor after only scoring four points in almost 35 minutes of play.
MERALCO 91 - Durham 24, Hodge 18, De Ocampo 13, Amer 10, Dillinger 10, Newsome 9, Hugnatan 7, Lanete 0, Tolomia 0.
STAR 88 - Barroca 21, Pingris 16, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 8, Ramos 8, Dela Rosa 7, Reavis 6, Acox 4, Gamalinda 3, Melton 3, Simon 0.
Quarters: 30-27, 54-43, 69-68, 91-88.
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