Star trips Rain or Shine, tightens race for top 2 | Inquirer Sports

Star trips Rain or Shine, tightens race for top 2

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:20 AM May 07, 2017

BATANGAS City—With one short burst in the stretch, Star put away Rain or Shine and made a huge leap in the standings in the frenzied chase for the top two berths in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.

Paul Lee scored 23 points, the last three coming in a closing 9-3 spurt inside the final 2:40 that keyed a 99-93 decision of the Elasto Painters in a Petron Saturday Special game that gave the Hotshots a virtual tie for second spot at Batangas City Coliseum here.

Import Tony Mitchell had 21 points and 18 rebounds, with his final field goal, a dunk that almost brought down the entire goal post with 1:44 left, practically snuffing the fight out of the game Painters.


The loss was the second straight for the defending champion Painters, who dropped to 4-4 and bowed out of the top-two race. With three games left, Rain or Shine needs nothing less than a sweep to qualify in the upper half of the playoff bracket.


Jeff Chan and import Shawn Taggart finished with 20 each for the Painters, who were hurt the entire night by their former franchise player Lee.

Meanwhile, Alaska and crowd darling Barangay Ginebra slug it out in the 6:45 p.m. main game at Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday, looking for victories to inch closer to the playoffs.

The Gin Kings have a four-game winning streak going and will try to contain the highest scoring import in the tournament in Corey Jefferson.

Alaska will play without its heart and soul, Calvin Abueva, while the Gin Kings will go into the contest minus the high-leaping Japeth Aguilar—both are on loan to the Gilas Pilipinas team that will try to win the Southeast Asian Basketball Association title next week.

Star also played without two key men, rookie Jio Jalalon and the streak-shooting Allein Maliksi, but the Hotshots remained composed and came up with the winning run that snapped a 90-all tie heading into the final 2:40.

Marc Barroca finished with 11 for Star.

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TAGS: PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs, Rain or Shine, star

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