PBA: Star squanders lead, recovers to nip Ginebra | Inquirer Sports

PBA: Star squanders lead, recovers to nip Ginebra

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 07:54 PM June 07, 2015

Marqus Blakely. Photo by Tristam Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Marqus Blakely. Photo by Tristam Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Star blew a big lead twice in separate instances before surviving Barangay Ginebra, 89-82, San Miguel in the 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots squandered a 19-point lead they established in the second quarter and again lost a 12-point advantage late but hung on in the final minute to give their playoff hopes a much-needed boost.

Marqus Blakely had 19 points and 19 rebounds to offset his seven turnovers and lead Star to just its third win in seven games. Joe Devance added 26 points for the Hotshots, who have won two straight.

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“We’ve been doing a lot better in practice and it translated in the game today especially with our defense. We created our offense through our defense,” said Star head coach Tim Cone.

“We had early control of the game but they made a great comeback and even took the lead. The best part tonight is that the guys bounced back. We hung tough and showed great character tonight,” Cone added.

The two crowd favorites have been struggling this conference but both battled with a playoff-type intensity and atmosphere with more than 17,000 fans in a frenzy since the opening tip.

“For us every game is like the playoffs,” Cone said. “We have a tough road ahead with Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text next.”

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Ginebra, which is coming off an overtime win over Globalport, trailed, 83-71, with only 2:37 remaining before mounting another rally that pulled itself to within four, 83-79, after a 3-pointer by Kim Jiwan with 1:13 left.

Off a costly Ginebra turnover, Star made the Kings pay with Alex Mallari sealing the game with a beeline drive to the basket, 85-79, with 53.5 ticks to go.

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“That kind of got us over the top,” Cone said of Mallari’s key basket.

Orlando Johnson scored a game-high 35 points on top of 11 rebounds for the Kings, who dropped to 3-5.

Ginebra guard Mark Caguioa, who didn’t have the kind of night he usually gets playing against Star, struggled with just four points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field. He also hurt his left hand late in the third quarter and did not return. Second-year center Greg Slaughter also had four points and five rebounds in 22 minutes for the Kings. CFC

The scores:

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.

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Quarters: 25-9, 42-34, 64-63, 89-82

TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Basketball, Marqus Blakely, PBA, Sports, star

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