IN VINES: Star Hotshots defeat Ginebra in 'Manila Clasico' clash
MANILA, Philippines – The Star Hotshots banked on their championship experience and stayed composed amid a Barangay Ginebra rally to conquer their rivals, 89-82, in the 2015 PBA Governors' Cup edition of their "Manila Clasico" rivalry on Sunday, June 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Eager create some momentum after their much-needed win over KIA that halted a 4-game losing slide, the Hotshots quickly zoomed to 25-9 lead after the opening quarter.
Last season's Grand Slam champions led by as much as 40-21 midway in the second period before the Gin Kings rallied and cut the deficit to a manageable 42-34 by halftime.
Ginebra, which sputtered down to 3-5 in the standings, held momentum in the third quarter even as star veteran Mark Caguioa left for the locker room after an apparent hand injury.
But after Mark Barroca converted a go-ahead three-point play with 32.7 left before the payoff period, the Gin Kings devolved into a white dwarf and went scoreless for the first 4 and a half minutes of the last frame.
As dormant as Ginebra was on the other end, the Star was unstoppable.
They got 9 points from top scorer Joe Devance and 8 from import Marqus Blakely to power the Hotshots' fourth period assault.
Ginebra's Asian import Kim Jiwan attempted a last-gasp comeback for his team with a triple with 1:13 remaining, 83-79, but the damage was too much to overcome as Alex Mallari sank a lay-up to stretch the lead once more.
The Star Hotshots are 3-4 in the standings.