Star leaned on a strong fourth quarter to defeat Blackwater, 103-86, on Sunday and claim its first win in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governors Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots took advantage of the exit of Elite import Trevis Simpson due to a bruised left groin injury early in the fourth period and pulled away from a tight contest.
“We just try to limit Blackwater’s offense under 90 points and we achieved that,” said Victolero. “We tightened our defense especially in the second half. If we play good defense, our offense will have a better result.”
PJ Simon led the Star with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field while Cinmeon Bowers added 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Hotshots.
Ian Sangalang and Rafi Reavis contributed 14 and 11 markers, respectively for the team of Victolero.
Simon was responsible in giving the Star a 99-79 cushion with less than four minutes remaining as Blackwater was helpless after the unexpected exit of its import due to injury.
“Our import (Bowers) played well tonight, but he needs to adjust more on the game’s physicality,” added Victolero.
Blackwater got back in the game and Mark Cruz’s jumper pushed his team within seven, 75-82, but the Hotshots unloaded a 17-4 assault to take the game for good with 3:30 remaining.
Simpson still finished with 24 points and eight rebounds while center JP Erram had 11 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks also for the Elite, who absorbed their second straight loss this conference.