Star Keeps Kia Winless
|Ping becomes the 85hth player to enter the 5,000 point club (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)|
For the Star Hotshots, it’s about regaining their momentum and warming up for the upcoming quarterfinals. For the Kia Picanto on the other hand, a win would be a perfect way to end a miserable campaign to the season ender 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup which saw them drop their first 10 games.
From making the extra passes to working on their inside game and even making more three-point shots, the Star Hotshots regained their composure and more importantly, won against the Kia Picanto via a which put the Hotshots led by import Kristofer Acox tied with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 6-4 in the standings.
This is an important win for the Hotshots because they will be facing the NLEX Road Warriors this coming Sunday to close their schedule and should the Hotshots win that game, they can enter the quarterfinals as the 5th seeded team.
Just to give an idea of how good the Hotshots were during this game, they shot better both in their 2-point field goals and from beyond the arc. And the offense of Coach Chito Victolero was more balanced as well as their defense which frustrated Kia which only made 31% of their field goal attempts which made by as much as 29 during the first half alone. The passing game of the Hotshots was fluid.
Star led during the entire game, holding a lead that never went down beyond 25 points and they did it despite Paul Lee struggling miserably in the field during the entire game, only scoring 2 points in the first half and 4 overall. Acox finished the game with 19 points while grabbing 15 rebounds.
Marc Pingris who energized the crowd with a dunk during the closing minutes of the 3rd quarter finished the game with 12 points, including another dunk at the closing seconds of the game to make him the newest member of the 5,000-point club.
Jio Jalalon led the Star’s local scorers with 15 points and 7 assists. PJ Simon contributed 13 points off the bench while Ian Sangalang finished with 12.
On the other side, the players of Coach Chris Gavina couldn’t get anything going during the entire game. Geron Johnson for one, led all scorers with 27 points on a miserable 9 of 28 shooting. Only him and Nico Elorde who finished with 15 points are the starters of Kia who scored in double figures. Jackson Corpuz on the other hand, led Kia’s bench with 11 points and 9 rebounds while Eric Camson added 10 markers. As a team, Kia only made 31% of their field goals and got rebounded, 62-41.
Acox 19, Jalalon 15, Simon 13, Sangalang 12, Pingris 12, Melton 10, Barroca 10, Reavis 7, Ramos 7, dela Rosa 5, Mendoza 5, Lee 4, Abundo 3, Pascual 2, Brondial 2, Gamalinda 0
Johnson 27, Elorde 15, Corpuz 11, Camson 10, Celda 9, Yee 4, Deutchman 3, Nimes 2, Ballesteros 0, Revilla 0, Guverra 0, Caperal 0, Khobuntin 0, Jaime 0, Salva 0
32-24, 65-36, 91-60, 128-81