Star settles for another draw in tune-up as SMB's Chris Lutz beats buzzer with putback
New coach Jason Webb's Star Hotshots have drawn two games and won one in the preseason. Karlo Sacamos

STAR failed to protect a late lead as it settled for a 97-97 draw against San Miguel Beer in their tune-up game on Saturday at Ronac Gym.

The Hotshots held a five-point cushion inside the last three minutes but allowed the Beermen to make a comeback capped by a Chris Lutz putback at the buzzer.

“Another freakin’ draw,” Hotshots wingman Alex Mallari told after the game as his team could also manage only an 83-83 draw against Alaska last week, before nipping NLEX, 75-73, last Tuesday.

“It’s good, though,” Mallari, who didn’t see action in their last game for coming in late, was quick to add. “We got a nice little tempo going. I think it’s our best offensive game of the preseason, so that’s all good. But defense, we got a lot to work on. Overall, C average.”

Justin Melton registered a game-high 18 points while James Yap added 17, the last two on a jumper that gave the Hotshots their last taste of the lead at 97-95.

Lutz, though, spoiled the party as he scored off an Alex Cabagnot missed three-pointer on the other end.

Cabagnot and Ronald Tubid tallied 15 points apiece to lead the Beermen.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos