MANILA, Philippines – It was no historical blowout victory, but the Star Hotshots maintained its dominance over the Globalport Batang Pier, 101-94, to reach the semifinals of the 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday, June 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The defending champions Star became the 7th team in league history to overcome a twice-to-beat disadvantage starting with a 53-point massacre of Globalport in the first game.
Alex Mallari and James Yap led all Star scorers with 17 points apiece. Mallari added 13 rebounds to his stat line while Yap also had 8 boards.
Marqus Blakely had an all-around performance as he posted a triple-double of 15 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, including 4 steals and 3 blocks.
PJ Simon finished with 14 points, including 12 in the second, where he masterminded the Star’s offense to build a double-digit advantage. Joe Devance chipped in 13 points.
The Hotshots looked like they may have been on their way to another lopsided victory as they led by as much as 21 early in the second, before the Batang Pier cut the deficit down to 9 by halftime.
Terrence Romeo knotted the count at 74-all with a triple at the 7:48 mark of the fourth but the Star countered with a 12-1 run and eventually led by 92-79 on a Mallari three-pointer with under 3 minutes left and the Hotshots kept their title defense alive.
Import Jarrid Famous led the frustrated Batang Pier with 38 points and 21 rebounds while Stanley Pringle and Romeo picked up the rear with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Globalport fell behind in assists, 25-14, and in fastbreak points, 22-8, as they failed to reach the semifinals once again.
STAR 101 – Mallari 17, Yap 17, Blakely 15, Simon 14, Devance 13, Taha 8, Barroca 6, Pingris 6, Melton 5, Pennisi 0.
GLOBALPORT 94 – Famous 38, Pringle 16, Romeo 15, Krayem 9, Jensen 7, Buenafe 6, Kramer 3, Semerad 0, Miranda 0.
Quarter scores: 21-16, 49-40, 70-65, 101-94.