The Star Hotshots made it the semifinals after sweeping the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters, 91-71, on Monday in Game 2 of the best-of-three quarterfinals of the Philippine Basketball Association at the Araneta Coliseum.
Combo guard Paul Lee notched 17 points, nine assists and four rebounds while veteran big man Jean Marc Pingris finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and two steals for the Hotshots.
“I’m happy, I’m just new here and there are other new players, even coach Chito (Victolero) is new here. We just committed to his instructions since the start of this conference,” said Lee.
Pingris, who shot 6-of-7 from the field attributed the win to good team chemistry.
“We feel blessed and of course happy that we’re back in the semifinals. We worked hard to earn this. It feels something new that we are here again in the semifinals. The team is in good direction and we have chemistry,” he said.
Rookie Jio Jalalon and Ian Sanggalang contributed 11 points each while Allein Maliksi had eight points also for the Hotshots.
The Hotshot crushed the Fuel Masters, 114-83, in Game 1.
“Our defense stepped up on this game,” said Star Hotshots coach Chito Victolero. “It’s our defense versus their offense, we limited them to 70 points that’s our goal. We worked hard for this. Our chemistry really improved well.”
Matthew Wright led Phoenix with 24 points.
In the second game, Talk ‘N Text took Game 2 after surviving GlobalPort, 95-90.
The TNT KaTropa will be meeting the No.1 seed and reigning champion San Miguel Beermen in the semifinals this week.
“I think that was the challenge of coach Franz (Pumaren) to the other players especially the second unit, that’s why it’s tough for us to defend all angles. Our veterans stepped up today, stepping forward and delivering,” said TNT KaTropa coach Nash Racela.
Ranidel de Ocampo led Talk ‘N Text with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Moala Tautuaa had 14 points and Jeth Troy Rosario 12 also for TNT.
Terrence Romeo led GlobalPort with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Ginebra, Alaska clash in do-or-die game tonight
Barangay Ginebra and Alaska collide in a sudden-death match at 7 p.m. tonight for a semifinals berth at the Araneta Coliseum.
After beating the Aces, 85-81, in Game 1, the No. 7 Gin Kings are determined to blast the No. 2 Aces and reach the semifinals for the first time in three years.
“It takes a special effort to win a twice-to-beat, and we’re certainly hoping we’re that team that can do it,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone in a text message. “Hopefully, we gathered a little confidence from the last game and we use it moving forward. We know Alaska is going to be ready.
But Alaska is as determined to return to the semifinals. “Ginebra played tough in Game 1 and gutted out the win. We battled it out but really shot ourselves on the foot during the third quarter.
“We expect they will be even better tomorrow and hopefully we can play our best game this conference and advance to the semifinals. That is what I believe it will require from us, our best game this conference,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton via text message.
STAR 91 – Lee 17, Pingris 16, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 11, Maliksi 8, Barroca 7, Abundo 6, Ramos 6, Melton 5, Brondial 4, Reavis 0, Javier 0, Dela Rosa 0.
PHOENIX 71 – Wright 24, Enciso 12, Intal 10, W. Wilson 6, Borboran 5, Baguio 4, J. Wilson 3, Torres 3, Kramer 2, Alolino 2, Dehesa 0, Miranda 0.
Quarter Scores: 22-18, 42-35, 65-49, 91-71.
TNT 95 – De Ocampo 25, Tautuaa 14, Rosario 12, Fonacier 10, Williams 10, Castro 9, Rosales 8, Pogoy 5, Rosser 2, Reyes 0, Carey 0, Tamsi 0.
GLOBALPORT 90 – Romeo 22, Pringle 19, Quinahan 17, Cortez 10, Canaleta 7, Semerad 7, Maierhofer 4, Mamaril 2, Paredes 2, Urbiztondo 0, Pessumal 0, Andrada 0, Pennisi 0.
Quarterscores: 30-22, 48-41, 76-67, 95-90