Red-hot Star blasted a lethargic Phoenix side, 123-79 to register its second straight victory in the PBA Philippine Cup in Petron’s Saturday Special at the Mall of Asia Arenaa.
From a 14-all deadlock in the first quarter, the Hotshots dropped a 14-0 bomb, including three straight triples. They never looked back from there to record the biggest blowout of the young season.
All but one scored for Star, with new boy Paul Lee and forward Allein Maliksi pouring 18 points apiece while veteran PJ Simon also came up big with 15 markers.
The Hotshots even extended their cushion to 53 points at one point, 119-66, on a rookie guard Mon Abundo step back jumper in the five-minute mark before the Fuel Masters had enough gas to salvage some pride.
“We want to slow down Phoenix especially on their transition, naging maganda naman defense namin and maganda yung chemistry sa offense,” said coach Chito Victolero, whose team tied their victims at 2-2.
“I told them if we play defense, we have a good chance of winning the game,” continued Victolero. “Yun ang goal namin is one of the top defensive team in the league, that’s our goal.”
Simon Enciso was the only bright spot in Phoenix, scoring 16 points in the deflating loss. – Jason Mercene
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH