The Star Hotshots won the game they needed to win Wednesday night. And they now play a waiting game.
The Hotshots battled back from 21 points down late in the third period and outfought the Alaska Milk Aces in a classic overtime showdown, 102-98, to assure themselves of at least the third seeding in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
Ricardo Ratliffe, Jio Jalalon, Paul Lee and Justin Melton carried the Hotshots through in the extension play for a 9-2 closing mark in the elims.
But the Hotshots will only know their final placing or their quarterfinal seeding after the final play date where San Miguel Beer (8-2) and Barangay Ginebra (8-2) are pitted versus GlobalPort and Mahindra, respectively.
“Our fate is not in our control. We’re No. 1 maybe only until tomorrow. But wherever we are right now, we’re very happy. We wanted to win this game badly and we did,” said Star coach Chito Victolero.
The Hotshots clinch a spot in the Top Two only if both or either SMB or Ginebra loses their game Friday. – PBA
STAR 102 – Ratliffe 35, Lee 18, Melton 12, Sangalang 10, Jalalon 7, Ramos 7, Reavis 4, Simon 4, Maliksi 3, Barroca 2, Abundo 0, Brondial 0.
ALASKA 98 – Abueva 22, Jefferson 21, Banchero 19, Racal 13, Thoss 9, Manuel 6, Exciminiano 4, Enciso 2, Hontiveros 2, Pascual 0, Galliguez 0.
Quarterscores: 14-26, 34-47, 56-73, 89-89, 102-98.