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Star completes shutout of Kia, stays in Top 4 hunt

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Star never wasted time in blasting Kia and stayed in the race for a spot in the Top 4 of the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals with a 128-81 win at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Friday night.

The Hotshots began pummeling the Picanto in the second quarter, limiting them to only 12 points to open a 65-36 halftime lead. They would cap the mauling with a 37-point fourth quarter blitz.

Kris Acox led seven Star players in double figures with 19 points along with 15 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals.

Jio Jalalon added 15 points, making all of his six shots inside the arc, three rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in a start.

Marc Pingris, meanwhile, became the latest member of the 5,000 Points Club after tallying 12 points with nine caroms and five assists.

The Hotshots moved up to 6-4, tying the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters for fifth place, but they need to soundly beat the NLEX Road Warriors on Sunday night to get a crack at stealing a twice-to-beat advantage in the next round.

Geron Johnson tallied 27 markers, nine caroms, five dimes, three steals, and one block for the Picanto, who failed to register a win in the entire conference.

Box Scores:

Star 128-Acox 19, Jalalon 15, Simon 13, Sangalang 12, Barroca 10, Reavis 7, Ramos 7, Dela Rosa 5, Mendoza 5, Lee 4, Abundo 3, Gamalinda 2, Pascual 2, Brondial 2

Kia 81-Johnson 27, Elorde 15, Corpuz 11, Camson 10, Celda 9, Yee 4, Deutchman 3, Nimes 2, Paniamogan 0, Ballesteros 0, Jaime 0

Quarterscores: 32-24, 65-36, 91-60, 128-81

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno