Hotshots build 3-0 start; Painters score
PUREFOODS sustained its hot start and extended Blackwater’s miseries last night after scoring a 98-86 PBA Commissioner’s Cup victory that was full of highlight plays from the Star Hotshots in the second half at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The defending champions peeled away from the Elite late in the second quarter and kept their foot on the gas the rest of the way, rising to 3-0 overall to claim a tie for the early pace with idle Meralco.
Marcus Douthit, the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay, couldn’t rescue the Elite from falling to 0-3 and 0-14 in their young PBA life, his 30 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists still falling way short.
“He really gave us fits all night,” Purefoods coach Tim Cone said of Douthit. “We just had really good focus tonight and it was good enough for a win.”
Cone’s assessment of his team far belied how raucous the small crowd went in the final two periods when Justin Melton and Marqus Blakely got them on their feet because of electrifying alley-oop dunks.
Blakely fired 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to end his pinch-hitting job for the Hotshots, who will welcome Daniel Orton into the fold on Wednesday against NLEX.
Paul Lee scored 25 points and hit crucial free throws down the stretch as Rain or Shine posted a 104-98 victory over Globalport in the first game.
The Elasto Painters flirted with disaster in the fourth period, allowing the Batang Pier to whittle down an 18-point lead early in the quarter to as little as three before eventually prevailing and rising to 2-1 overall.
“Globalport played a really good game, it was difficult to put them away,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “At times I thought that we would win with some comfort, but they just kept coming back.
“It’s always useful to ward off those kinds of fightbacks,” Guiao added. “It helps you stay strong and prepare for other games that will test you. But I just feel that you can’t keep testing yourself. If you put yourself in a position to lose, you will lose some games.”
Rain or Shine import Rick Jackson contributed 16 points, 18 rebounds and six assists and also made two charities in the fourth quarter that kept Globalport at bay.
RAIN OR SHINE 104—Lee 25; Jackson 16, Cruz 10, Chan 9, Belga 9, Tang 8, Uyloan 7, Norwood 7, Arana 6, Almazan 3, Tiu 2, Quinahan 2, Ibanes 0.
GLOBALPORT 98—Leslie 29; Romeo 29, Pringle 16, Isip 8, Buenafe 4, Ponferada 4, Miranda 3, Jensen 3, Semerad 1, Taha 1, Caperal 0, Pinto 0, Baclao 0.
Quarters: 27-20; 53-52; 75-58; 104-98
PUREFOODS 98—Blakely 23, Pingris 14, Barroca 13, Melton 12, Maliksi 12, Yap 9, Devance 7, Mallari 4, Taha 2, Reavis 2, Simon 0, Alvarez 0, Gaco 0, Allado 0, Pennisi 0.
BLACKWATER 86—Douthit 30, Faundo 14, Heruela 10, Gamalinda 9, Laure 6, Canada 5, Acuna 5, Bulawan 4, Celiz 3, Timberlake 0, Reyes 0, Nuyles 0, Erram 0, Ballesteros 0, Austria 0.
Quarters: 23-23, 52-44, 74-63, 98-86
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