RR Garcia showed who the better Tamaraw was, at least on Sunday night, as Star outlasted GlobalPort, 105-102, in overtime to barge into the win column of the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Garcia engaged fellow Far Eastern University product Terrence Romeo in a shootout and ended up scoring the bigger baskets—a contested layup to force overtime and two free throws in the extra session that put the Hotshots up for good.
As a result, Star registered its first win after starting the season-ending conference with two losses, while keeping the Batang Pier winless after three outings.
“The game plan was simple: score more points than the opponent,” Hotshots coach Jason Webb said. “We wanted to start a little better…but these games, they’re not fatal, so we’re still alive.”
Not even a power interruption early in the fourth period could derail the Hotshots’ bid as they turned to Garcia, an offseason trade acquisition, who delivered his breakout performance in just his third game for his new team.
The former UAAP MVP scattered 26 points on an efficient 11-of-13 shooting, including eight in overtime and two on the go-ahead free throws that were rewarded after drawing a crucial deliberate foul on Stanley Pringle with 8.4 seconds left.
The super showing overshadowed the herculean effort of Hotshots import Marqus Blakely, who pumped in 24 points and 22 boards on top of six assists, five steals, and one block in 45 minutes.
Romeo scored one more point than Garcia had, but took 10 more attempts, including one he fumbled that could’ve won the game for the Batang Pier in regulation.
The result spoiled the debut of new Globalport import Mike Glover, who poured in 27 points to tie Romeo for the team lead, on top of 12 boards and five assists.
STAR 105 – Garcia 26, Blakely 24, Simon 15, Barroca 11, Pingris 8, Maliksi 7, Sangalang 6, Mallari 4, Pascual 2, Reavis 2, Yap 0
GLOBALPORT 102 – Glover 27, Romeo 27, Pringle 20, Yeo 11, Taha 10, Semerad 3, Dehesa 2, Kramer 2, Mamaril 0
Quarterscores: 19-22, 42-44, 71-71, 92-92, 105-102