Mark Barroca sparked Star’s endgame blitz as the Hotshots dethroned Rain or Shine, 84-69 to complete a 2-game sweep of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
- Veteran Barroca: The 5-10 Barroca banged in 10 of his 12 points in the final period that saw Star unleash an 18-6 windup to deal the knockout blow as well as ending Rain or Shine’s Commissioner’s Cup reign.
- Super Ricardo: Import Ricardo Ratliffe was superb once more after collecting 26 points and hauling down 24 rebounds in completely dominating ROS counterpart Duke Crews who had an anemic 12 points and 5 boards after being plagued with fouls.
- Semis-bound vs SMB: The win vaulted Star into a best-of-5 semifinal due against sister team San Miguel Beer. The Hotshots lost to the Beermen in the quarterfinals during last season’s Commissioner’s Cup.
- Woeful ending: Rain or Shine, which suffered a 36-point beating in Game 1, closed the conference with four straight losses.
- No Big Game James: Rain or Shine star James Yap failed to deliver anew in his second playoff match-up against his former team as he wind up with just 3 points on 5 shots in 19 minutes.
- Quote of the match: “It was a grinding game. I told my players it will be a different story in Game 2.” – Star coach Chito Victolero
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