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 Spin.ph 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.