Star bludgeons Meralco by 47 to close in on QF bonus

By Ivan Saldajeno

ANTIPOLO—Star boosted its chance of nailing the second seed in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals after pipping Meralco by 47 points, 120-73, at the Ynares Center on Saturday.

Banking on their tough defense once again, the Hotshots held the Bolts to less than 20 points in the first three quarters, 12 in each of the latter two, and opened a lead as much as 55 points before settling for the 47-point winning margin that broke their own league conference best record of 44 set against the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Dec. 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Allein Maliksi once again led Star, which moved up to a three-way tie for second at 6-4, with 25 points in 21 minutes through three quarters.

Chris Newsome struggled early on before finishing with 13 points for Meralco, which ended its elimination stint at 3-8.

Box Scores:

Star 120-Maliksi 25, Lee 15, Jalalon 15, Ramos 13, Melton 10, Barroca 10, Sangalang 10, Abundo 8, Reavis 4, De Leon 3, Abundo 3, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 2, Pingris 0

Meralco 73-Newsome 13, Al Hussaini 9, Hugnatan 7, Amer 7, Uyloan 6, Caram 6, Grey 5, Chua 4, Faundo 4, Dillinger 4, Daquioag 3, Hodge 3, Yeo 2, Nabong 0

Quarterscores: 28-19, 63-31, 90-43, 120-73

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