Purefoods spoils Pacquiao's PBA return with rout of KIA
RIZAL, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao did not receive a warm return from the from the Purefoods Star Hotshots as Mark Barroca and Joe Devance led a 17-2 fourth quarter assault to pummel KIA Sorento, 88-77, in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, November 26 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The defending Grand Slam champions could not shake off KIA right away and found themselves down by as much as 43-52 midway in the third and trailing 51-57 entering the fourth.
But Barroca and Devance sparked a 17-2 tear early in the payoff period and turned a 55-61 disadvantage into a 72-63 lead with 7:33 to play.
"They were certainly inspired tonight," admitted Purefoods coach and 18-time champion coach Tim Cone. "Their defense was outstanding throughout 3 quarters.”
The Hotshots, which rose to 5-3 in the standings and are now riding a 4-game win streak, stretched the lead to 80-67 with under 6 minutes to go and put the game out of reach for the upset-seeking KIA.
"I certainly don't want to make a lie of the game but this was a really, really important game for us. We really had to have this one," Cone said, whose team managed to establish some momentum after a 1-3 start to the conference. "And we played under a lot of pressure and it wasn't until we forced a couple of turnovers and got some easy baskets that we relaxed."
Devance led all Hotshots with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. All of Devance's points came in the second half and 13 of those he dropped in the fourth. Barroca added 9 points in the final frame to end up with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists as well.
James Yap, who was the offensive spark for Purefoods in the opening quarter after starting flat at 0-5, wound up with 12 points.
KIA, which had lost six straight in Pacquiao’s absence due to training camp for his most recent win over Chris Algieri this past Sunday in Macau, played at a higher level with their coach back in the fold. They now rest near the bottom of the standings at 1-8.
"It was tough to meet their intensity and their inspiration," Cone added. "We just didn't have it the entire game."
Reil Cervantes and LA Revilla were the culprits once again for the Sorentos with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Purefoods (88): Devance 16, Barroca 15, Mallari 12, Yap 12, Pingris 9, Maliksi 9, Simon 6, Taha 5, Reavis 4, Melton 0, Gaco 0, Matias 0, Allado 0, Holstein 0.
KIA (77): Cervantes 14, Revilla 12, Dehesa 11, Alvarez 10, Custodio 10, Pascual 8, Raymundo 6, Webb 4, Burtscher 2, Saldua 0, Buensuceso 0, Pacquiao 0, Ighalo 0, Sanga 0.
Quarter scores: 17-17, 34-34, 51-57, 88-77.