The Star Hotshots finally figured out how to close out a battle as they carved out a 97-95 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors Sunday, Nov. 8 in the 2015-2016 PBA Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The Star Hotshots improved to a 2-2, win-loss record. The Road Warriors suffered their first loss in three games.
After losing huge leads in two previous games the Stars were able to hold on to preserve a victory over the Road Warriors.
“We got to get better at that (closing out games). It was good the guys made the stop that was necessary and the basket that was necessary,” said Hotshots coach Jason Webb.
PJ Simon tallied a team-high 21 points. James Yap added 19 markers even when missing two crucial free throws that allowed the Road Warriors a chance at winning the game.
But instead of calling a timeout both Asi Taulava and Kevin Alas chose to run out the clock. After James Yap missed two free throws with Star leading, 95-96, Taulava grabbed the defensive rebound and passed to Alas who committed a turnover.
Thus ended the comeback of the Road Warriors who overhauled a 19 point deficit in the third quarter.
Sean Anthony scored 28 points, including the last two from the free throw line which allowed the Road Warriors to come within a point at 96-95.
STAR 97 – Simon 21, Yap 19, Mallari 14, Melton 13, Pascual J. 11, Sangalang 10, Maliksi 4, Pingris 3, Taha 2, Barroca 0, Pascual R. 0, Torres 0.
NLEX 95 – Anthony 28, Taulava 18, Alas 10, Enciso 9, Apinan 7, Lanete 6, Villanueva E. 6, Camson 4, Khobuntin 4, Villanueva J. 2, Cardona 1, Borboran 0. Reyes 0.
Quarter scores: 24-20, 47-37, 78-63, 97-95.