Hotshots claim last playoff spot, beat Enforcers | Inquirer Sports

Hotshots claim last playoff spot, beat Enforcers

/ 07:00 PM April 13, 2016



Star banked on an unlikely hero to upend Mahindra, 86-73, and clinch the last spot in the 2016 Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Mark Cruz came off the bench for the Hotshots and unleashed a scintillating fourth quarter, firing 14 points to finish with a career-high 18 to tow his squad in a knockout game.

“It doesn’t matter what spot you end up as long as you make it,” said Star head coach Jason Webb, whose squad finished the eliminations with a 5-6 record. “Even if we’re in a twice-to-win disadvantage, at least we’re there, we’re fighting and we’re still alive. All credit to the guys and the God-given talent they have, the God-given heart the guys have.”


Ricardo Ratliffe paced Star with 24 markers and 16 rebounds, while Ian Sangalang added 12.

Mark Barroca got two stitches above his right eye after he went down early in the first quarter. He returned in the second and quarterbacked Star in the clutch.

“I feel so proud to be coaching these guys,” said Webb.

From a 57-all deadlock, Star unfurled a huge 14-1 run to grab a 71-58 lead, anchored by huge plays from Mark Cruz with 4:55 remaining.


Mahindra refused to sink with Karl Dehesa and Aldrech Ramos nailing treys to keep the Enforcers in the running, but Cruz nailed back-to-back triples to seal the game for the Hotshots.

Mahindra bowed out at 4-7, joining Phoenix, Blackwater, and GlobalPort in the bottom four.


Augustus Gilchrist led the Enforcers with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Ramos and Dehesa both wound up with 13 markers apiece.

The scores:

STAR 86 – Ratliffe 24, Cruz 18, Sangalang 12, Maliksi 11, Simon 8, Barroca 5, Melton 4, Pingris 3, Reavis 1, J. Pascual 0.

MAHINDRA 73 – Dehesa 13, Gilchrist 13, Ramos 13, Canaleta 8, Yee 7, Revilla 5, Elorde 4, Guinto 4, Aguilar 2, Bagatsing 2, Ballesteros 2, De Vera 0, DiGregorio 0, Pinto 0.

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Quarters: 32-21, 43-36, 53-51, 86-73.

TAGS: 2016 Commissioner's Cup, Mahindra Enforcers, Mark Cruz, PBA, Star Hotshots

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