STAR clicked on both ends of the floor as it sent Phoenix crashing with a 123-79 decision on Saturday night to build momentum in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.,
The Hotshots clamped down on a high-octane offensive team as they got rewarded with an offensive flourish to run away with the lopsided result in the Petron Saturday special.
Allein Maliksi, Paul Lee, and PJ Simon showed the way in a balanced effort for the Hotshots, who won for the second straight game, while stopping the Fuel Masters’ two-game win streak to tie their victims with a 2-2 win-loss record.
“They stepped up talaga dun sa defensive system namin,” Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said. “I know Phoenix is a high-scoring team and we wanted to slow them down. Nag-respond naman yung players.”
“At may chemistry rin kami sa offense,” he added as his team made 50 of their 81 shots for a blistering 62 percent from the field to score the win with the biggest margin early in this all-Filipino conference.
Continuing to flash their potential, the Hotshots broke away from a 14-all deadlock as they maintained a sizeable lead throughout the match, a cushion that ballooned to 53 points, 119-66, following a Mon Abundo stepback jumper halfway through the fourth.
Maliksi scored all his 18 points in the first three quarters, while Lee likewise contributed the same output, including 15 in the first half. Simon added 15 markers, also all in the first three periods.
After scoring 114 points in their win against Mahindra, the Fuel Masters couldn’t get anything going as they wound up producing their conference-low output.
Simon Enciso paced the Fuel Masters with 16 points, but had to take 17 shots to reach his total.
STAR 123 – Lee 18, Maliksi 18, Simon 15, Melton 11, Jalalon 11, Barroca 11, Pingris 8, Brondial 8, Ramos 7, Reavis 7, Sangalang 4, Abundo 4, Javier 1, De Leon 0
PHOENIX 79 – Enciso 16, Intal 13, W. Wilson 13, Wright 12, Caperal 8, Borboran 5, Lanete 4, Torres 4, Baguio 2, Hayes 2, Alolino 0, J. Wilson 0, Miranda 0
Quarterscores: 35-20, 61-38, 91-53, 123-79