Yep! The Lee-thal Weapon still has it
The Chickens Started Flying in the Second Quarter
The Beast got Unleashed Early in the Third. BUT
The Aces Tried to Come Back. Tried
The Numbers: The Good and the Ugly
MAGNOLIA 108 – Lee 30, Gamalinda 15, Sangalang 13, Dela Rosa 10, Simon 9, Herndon 9, K. Pascual 9, Barroca 6, Melton 3, Ramos 2, Brondial 2.
ALASKA 95 – Abueva 20, Manuel 20, Teng 16, Casio 10, R. Pascual 7, Enciso 5, Exciminiano 5, Banchero 4, Thoss 3, J. Pascual 2, Cruz 2, Magat 1, Racal 0.
21-26, 57-47, 87-74, 108-95.
Because basically, everything did go wrong for the Hotshots
Here are the four main reasons to their demise however
0 – Zero Points for Star Guards
1 – Only One from the Rainbow Country
5 – Five Fast-break Points, Not too fast
9 – The horrible performance of Acox
Star now assured of a Top 4 spot pending Meralco win
|Acox recovered from early slump help Star win. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)|
The teams went into halftime with NLEX only leading by 8 points. NLEX held onto the lead for the majority of the first half after limiting the offensive output of Star’s import, Kristofer Acox who only had 2 points on 1 of 6 shooting.
Compared to his counterpart, Fuller already had 8 points of his own to go along with his 9 rebounds. But what doomed the Hotshots in the first half alone is their incapacity to make most of their shot attempts and to make things worse, Star, as a team, only made 1 of their 5 free throw attempts. One of the few things that kept Star in the game during the first half is their shooting from beyond the arc where they made 5 out of their 12 attempts as compared to the Road Warriors who only made 4 of their 15 attempts from downtown.
Both teams went on to exchange of made baskets as NLEX managed to bring the backup to 6 only to watch Star erased that lead. The Hotshots took the lead in the dying minutes of the quarter and by the end of the 3rd, Star’s lead was up 75-69 after Jio Jalalon drained a long-distance trey to beat the 3rd quarter buzzer.
From that point on, it’s an up-and-down battle as Star answered every basket that NLEX made until Justin Melton drained a three-pointer to bring the lead back to 8 with 5 minutes to spare in the game. Paul Lee put Star up by 12 after scoring on a well-contested lay-up with under 4 minutes to go on the clock. A few possessions later, Alex Mallari drained a much-needed three-point shot and a free throw to bring down the deficit to 8 until Mark Barroca nailed a jumper approaching the final 2-minute mark and followed by another jumper by Paul Lee to put the lead back to 12 with 1:30 to go. Star then blocked NLEX’s next attempt and that was it. Marc Pingris drained a jumper to pull the life out of the Road Warriors as Chito Victolero decided to sub out his import, knowing that they’ve already accomplished what they needed to accomplish.
Throughout the game, it was Star’s three-pointers that kept them within striking distance in the first half and it was also Star’s three-pointers that won the game for them as they combined for making 11 out of their 20 attempts from rainbow country.