Star bludgeons Barako, stays in hunt for twice-to-beat edge

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Star stepped on the gas from the opening tipoff and walloped Barako Bull, 117-89, in their PBA Governors' Cup match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Fathers' Day Sunday.

The Hotshots opened the game on an 8-0 run and immediately opened a double-digit advantage later in the first quarter. The lead ballooned to as high as 34 points, and they never looked back.

Marqus Blakely led Star, which kept in step with Barako and idle GlobalPort for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal round, with 33 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal. Blakely, a known poor free throw shooter, made nine of ten charities on Sunday. James Yap also had a near double-double as he tallied 17 markers and eight boards with two dimes.

Liam McMorrow had a quiet 23 points along with 12 rebounds for the Energy, who lost for the fourth consecutive time after starting the season-ending conference at 6-1.

Box Scores:

Star 117-Blakely 33, Yap 17, Simon 15, Mallari 11, Maliksi 10, Barroca 8, Pingris 6, Devance 6, Pennisi 6, Melton 3, Taha 2, Reavis 0, Gaco 0

Barako Bull 89-McMorrow 23, Intal 14, Salva 11, Ababou 11, Hubalde 7, Pascual 4, Wilson 4, Garcia 2, Chua 2, Sorongon 2, Forrester 0, Yeo 0, Salvador 0

Quarterscores: 34-20, 58-37, 86-62, 117-89