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Star takes Game 1 of Clasico semis against Ginebra

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Star braved a low-scoring affair and turned back Ginebra, 78-74, in Game 1 of their own PBA Philippine Cup semifinal meeting at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Thursday night.

Paul Lee buried the go-ahead three-pointer while also finishing a dagger layup for the Hotshots to escape.

With the game tied, 71-all, Lee launched a triple from the right wing to put Star up, 74-71, with 3:51 left in the game.

Defense then shut down Ginebra later on with Marc Pingris' block on Japeth Aguilar the main highlight of the said clutch stopping.

LA Tenorio kept the Barangay in the game with a three-pointer that cut the lead down to two, 76-74, but Lee found an open lane for a one-hander that went in off the glass to extend the gap to four again with 25.5 seconds left.

A Tenorio sealed both teams' fate as he failed to secure a pass from Scottie Thompson in the dying moments.

Lee finished with 18 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal, while Mark Barroca added 17 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal for Star, which has won its last seven games.

Chris Ellis led Ginebra with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block.

Box Scores:

Star 78-Lee 18, Barroca 17, Pingris 9, Sangalang 8, Maliksi 7, Jalalon 6, Reavis 5, Melton 5, Dela Rosa 2, Ramos 1, Brondial 0

Ginebra 74-Ellis 12, Aguilar 11, Cruz 10, Mercado 10, Tenorio 8, Thompson 7, Ferrer 7, Marcelo 5, Mariano 4

Quarterscores: 14-19, 37-38, 60-58, 78-74

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno
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