The Star Hotshots stoked the fire of a hot, hot romp from the elimination round, rolling over the San Miguel Beermen, 109-105, in Game One of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinal showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday.
In a perfect ride with import replacement Ricardo Ratliffe (5-0) and unbeaten in their last seven games overall, the Hotshots made it eight in a row on big games by their explosive import and shooters Allein Maliksi and Aldrech Ramos.
Ratliffe and his teammates go for a 2-0 series lead in Game Two at 7 p.m. Monday over at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
The Hotshots sustained their searing charge while stopping the Beermen’s own streak to three games.
“Credit goes to the players. It’s their heart, desire and will that got us the win,” said Star coach Chito Victolero.
“San Miguel, being an experienced team and knowing what to do, waged a fightback from a 14-point deficit, but my players kept on fighting and grinded out the win,” Victolero also said. – PBA
STAR 109 – Ratliffe 26, Maliksi 26, Sangalang 12, Ramos 11, Barroca 8, Melton 8, Reavis 7, Lee 4, Simon 4, Jalalon 3.
SMB 105 – Rhodes 34, Fajardo 24, Santos 16, Lassiter 12, Cabagnot 8, Ross 7, Espinas 2, Tubid 2.
Quarterscores: 23-22, 45-46, 75-72, 109-105.