Struggling Star Hotshots manhandle Ginebra for second straight win
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Star Hotshots opened the fourth period on a 14-0 run and they outlasted Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 89-82, in the 2015 PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday, June 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Joe Devance topscored for the Hotshots with 26 points and 8 rebounds while import Marqus Blakely picked up the rear with 19 markers and 19 boards.
Mark Barroca added 12 points and the Star climbed to 3-4 after a 4-game losing slide briefly put them in the cellar, 1-4.
“We’ve been doing a lot better in practice and it translated well into the game today,” said a relieved coach Tim Cone. “I thought we did well defensively, much more active. We played off of our defense today. And that’s always been our way. That’s what we talked about, tried to get back to."
The Star's battle-tested squad withstood a hot Ginebra rally in the third and stayed calm to start the fourth period, unleashing a 14-4 blast that turned a slim 64-63 lead into a 78-67 advantage with 6:24 left to play.
Ginebra, which appeared to have secured momentum after a fast-paced third period, deflated in the final frame and went scoreless for the bigger chunk of that quarter.
The Gin Kings came to within 83-79 with 1:13 remaining after a Kim Jiwan three but Alex Mallari scored a lay-up to to put the game away.
As pristine were the Hotshots when it mattered most, they nearly threw the game away after they squandered a 25-9 first quarter advantage and a 19-point second quarter edge, which Ginebra eventually chopped to a manageable 42-34 at halftime.
“We had early control of the game and they had a great come back,” Cone said.
“I think the best part about tonight is that our guys – we’ve been getting discouraged when bad things happen to us and we haven’t been responding well. We haven’t bounced back from tough things and tonight we did.”
Orlando Johnson carried Ginebra on his shoulders with 35 points and 11 rebounds as he shot 13-of-31 from the field. Japeth Aguilar asserted himself with 11 points in the third to finish with 18 on top of 9 rebounds.
There wasn’t much contribution as Ginebra’s bench had just 16 points.
Star veteran Mark Caguioa left for the locker room late in the third after an apparent hand injury before returning to the bench in the last quarter. He had just 4 points.
The Gin Kings, which fell to 3-5, were in the game until the 32.7 mark of the third, before Barroca converted a three-point play that sparked a 10-0 blast bridging the last two periods.
STAR 89 - Devance 26, Blakely 19, Barroca 12, Mallari 9, Simon 7, Yap 7, Taha 5, Reavis 2, Pingris 2, Pennisi 0.
GINEBRA 82 - Johnson 35, Aguilar 18, Mercado 9, Kim 8, Slaughter 4, Caguioa 4, Tenorio 2, Urbiztondo 1, Marcelo 1, Pena 0, Helterbrand 0, Brondial 0.
Quarter scores: 25-9, 42-34, 64-63, 89-82.