Star Hotshots' blistering start help fend off Ginebra’s late game uprising, win "Manila Clasico"

Playing against their former mentor, the Star Hot shots fired from all cylinders led by their main gunner James Yap who finished the game with 19 big points. Photo Courtesy of PBA Images
By Emy Manipol

QUEZON CITY--In a match dubbed as “The New-Look Manila Clasico”, the Star Hotshots went on an offensive onslaught during the first half of the game to stun a ‘still gelling’ Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel and spoil their former mentor Tim Cone’s Ginebra debut en route to their first win in the 41st Season of the Philippine Basketball Association All-Filipino Conference, 86-78.  

Playing against their former mentor, the Hotshots fired from all cylinders led by their main gunner James Yap who finished the game with 19 big points.

Majority of Yap’s points came early in the game as he displayed his full scoring arsenal that kept the Ginebra defense guessing.

The first point for both team were scored by their big men, Slaughter and Rafi Reavis for Ginebra and Star respectively.  

But the Hotshots soon caught fire from behind the arc as Yap, Mallari and Barroca lighted it up from downtown to keep the momentum on the side of Star Hot Shots. 

Slaughter carried the offensive duties for Ginebra as he served as the lone source of points.

To add to Ginebra’s scoring woes, the club kept committing turnovers that the Star was quick to capitalize. 

The first quarter ended with a 14-point lead by the Hot Shots 37-14.

Star kept the Kings scoreless for almost three minutes during the second quarter before Slaughter finally broke the scoring drought during the 9:42 minute mark of the 2nd canto with a basket. 

At the 8:33 mark, Chris Ellis scored two points that prompted Hot Shot’s head coach Jason Webb to call a quick time out despite still leading at 44-17.

Late into the second quarter, Star fans got a scare after main point guard Mark Barroca went down on the floor with 2:06 minutes remaining before halftime.  

Ginebra, on the other hand, was seemingly building on their momentum heading to the dugout after the injection of priced-rookie Scottie Thompson into the match who was quick to display his ball distributing ability.

Thompson finished the quarter with a buzzer-beater two to cut down their opponents lead to 20, 58-38.

Barroca despite suffering a left wrist injury earlier in the game, returned during the third quarter and scored a three-point basket.

Unfortunately for the Hotshots, Reavis got injured at the 8:02 mark of the period and marched to the dugout due to pain and did not return for the rest of match.

The twin tower combination of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar tried to salvage Ginebra’s game as they poured out their points inside the paint. The third quarter ended with Star Hotshots leading by 19, 71-52.

Ginebra, with one last push to try to mount a comeback, relied on their twin towers and Thompson.

Aguilar managed to capitalize on a 3-point play opportunity to bring his team within 16. 

Ginebra even came close by 14 after Brondial scored his first basket.

However, Mallari was quick to answer after making a three-point shot at 6:07 of the 4th.

After a dunk by Slaughter, Ginebra was able to bring down the lead to 15 again, but the relentless plays of Barroca, Yap and PJ Simon were quick to extinguish the run of Ginebra. 

During the dying minutes of the game, Ginebra managed to bring the lead down to eight, but the big lead of the Hotshots was enough to win the match.

The combination combined for 54 of Ginebra’s 78.

The win was a good bounce back for the Hotshots who spoiled their debut match against Rain or Shine after having a meltdown during the fourth quarter.

Box Scores:

Star (86) – Yap 19, Simon 12, Barroca 12, Torres 8, Melton 7, Mallari 6, Pascual 6, Pingris 6, Sangalang 5, Maliksi 3, Reavis 2, Taha 0, Pascual 0

Ginebra (78) – Slaughter 28, Aguilar 26, Ellis 5, Thompson 5, Caguioa 4, Mariano 2, Brondial 2, Devance 1, Tenorio 0, Mercado 0, Helterbrand 0

Quarterscores: 37-13, 58-38, 71-52, 86-78

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