MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Jio Jalalon sank a dagger jumper to give the Star Hotshots a 105-103 victory against the resilient NLEX Road Warriors in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday, March 31 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots established a comfortable 17-point cushion after two periods, but soon witnessed the lead dwindle as NLEX outscored them 40-24 in the 3rd.
Snapping the endgame deadlock, Jalalon became the hero of the match after nailing a buzzer-beater as his team halted the Road Warriors’ impending comeback for a 3-0 conference start.
Jalalon finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists as well as 4 steals off the bench.
“The instruction is we need to make a stop. I called a play for Paul [Lee] or for Jio,” said Star head coach Chito Victolero after the game.
“We gave up only 34 points in the first half, and then 40 points ang ini-score ng NLEX in the 3rd (NLEX scored 40 points in the 3rd). I think it’s a bad habit,” he added. “Kailangan namin ma-correct ‘yun.” (We need to correct that)
Allein Maliksi topscored for the Hotshots with 24 markers on 10-of-22 shooting coupled with 6 boards, while import Tony Mitchell listed another double-double night of 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Wayne Chism, who delivered timely triples down the stretch, finished with a 33-point, 19-rebound output for the Road Warriors, who have now dropped to 0-4.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini meanwhile had 6 points and 2 rebounds in 24 minutes of action for his new team after being traded by the Meralco Bolts.
STAR (105) – Maliksi 24, Mitchell 23, Jalalon 16, Simon 13, Sangalang 9, Lee 5, Ramos 5, Reavis 4, Barroca 4, Javier 2, Melton 0, Dela Rosa 0, Mendoza 0
NLEX (103) – Chism 33, Lastimosa 13, Alas 9, Lanete 9, Tiongson 7, Al-Hussaini 6, Rios 6, Taulava 6, Guinto 5, Monfort 4, Villanueva 3, Baracael 2, Khobuntin 0, Soyud 0
Quarter scores: 23-15, 51-34, 75-74, 105-103
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