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Victolero credits Star bench for epic rout against Phoenix

Allein Maliksi led Star's solid bench. PBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Star pulled off a huge blowout against Phoenix in their PBA Philippine Cup clash at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night.

But when asked by the media after the game if it crossed to his mind that the lead would be as big as a league season-best 53, Coach Chito Victolero answered, "Honestly hindi. I told them that this is a close game."

There were actually two deadlocks in the game, the last at 20-all midway through the first quarter, but after an 11-0 run, it was all Hotshots, and Victolero has his second stringers to thank for.

"Ang ganda ng nilaro ng second group," he continued.

The bench outscored the starters, 68-55, with Allein Maliksi leading the way with 18.

But on the particular aspect Victolero was happy about, he said, "Sobrang ganda ng dinipensa nila."

The help defense led to Phoenix making only 40 percent of its baskets and only 6-of-32 from a distance while committing 23 turnovers.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno