Star recovers, deals NLEX its first loss | Inquirer Sports

Star recovers, deals NLEX its first loss

/ 09:02 PM November 08, 2015

Star's Alex Mallari skies for the layup against NLEX during their game on Sunday at Philsports Arena. PBA IMAGES

Star’s Alex Mallari skies for the layup against NLEX during their game on Sunday at Philsports Arena. PBA IMAGES

Star fended off a late run from NLEX to escape with a 97-95 victory for its second win in the 2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup at Philsports Arena on Sunday.

With Star up by as much as 19, 74-55, late in the third quarter, the Road Warriors came alive and Sean Anthony’s free throws trimmed the lead down to one, 96-95 with 11.1 seconds left.
  James Yap uncharacteristically missed his two freebies with 9.0 ticks to go but fortunately for Star, Justin Melton was there to snatch the ball away from a streaking Kevin Alas and gave the Hotshots a bit of breathing room with a split from the charity stripe with 1.6 seconds remaining.   Jonas Villanueva’s game-tying attempt went short as time expired.
“In the end, it was a big break that went our way,” said head coach Jason Webb after the Hotshots improved to 2-2. “I was hoping that we would be a team that would catch up in the end, but we’ll take victories however it comes. We got to get better at that. It’s good that the guys eventually made the stops that are necessary and the shots that are necessary.”

Peter June Simon led Star with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field on top of four rebounds and four assists while Yap finished with 19 markers.

Alex Mallari and Melton also stepped up for the Hotshots as the two combined for 27 points.

“It’s the boys’ God-given talent that gave us this victory,” Webb said.
Anthony’s 28-point, 12-rebound outing for NLEX went to waste as the Road Warriors incurred their first loss in three games.

NLEX’s defeat and Alaska’s setback at the hands of Barangay Ginebra in Dubai early Sunday morning (Manila time) left Rain or Shine as the only undefeated team in the league at 3-0.

The scores:

STAR 97 – Simon 21, Yap 19, Mallari 14, Melton 13, J. Pascual 11, Sangalang 10, Maliksi 4, Pingris 3, Taha 2, Barroca 0, R. Pascual 0, Torres 0.

NLEX 95 – Anthony 28, Taulava 18, Alas 10, Enciso 9, Apinan 7, Lanete 6, E. Villanueva 6, Camson 4, Khobuntin 4, J. Villanueva 2, Cardona 1, Borboran 0. Reyes 0.

Quarters:  24-20, 47-37, 78-63, 97-95.

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TAGS: 2016 Philippine Cup, Basketball, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA, Star Hotshots

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