The Hotshots made important baskets late in the game to turn back TNT KaTropa, 107-97, and cruise to their seventh win in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ricardo Ratliffe, in his return as a Star reinforcement, showed why he was brought back to the team after producing 37 points, 22 rebounds, and 3 swats in 39 minutes.
The Star Hotshots were trailing by as many as 16 points in the opening period but immediately came back in the second quarter after unleashing 38 points to end the first half already ahead by one, 60-59.
They dominated the third frame and even built an advantage as high as 12 points before the KaTropa went on a run in the final canto that cut the lead to only 3 points, 100-97, in the 3:15 mark.
But that was the closest the Nash Racela-mentored team could get as Paul Lee hit a momentum-breaking three-pointer followed by Ratliffe’s dagger baskets that served as the final nail in the coffin.
Lee topscored the locals with 17 points, 5 boards and 5 assists while Andy Barroca and PJ Simon combined for 22 markers and 8 dimes.
Aldrech Ramos also contributed 11 points in the win that helped them improved to 7-2 win-loss record and sent the KaTropa to 6-3 slate.
Donte Greene posted 29 points, 12 boards and 3 dimes as four more players scored in double figures for the TNT in a losing effort.
Kris Rosales and Ryan Reyes played as starters and registered 15 and 10 points, respectively, while veteran bigs Kelly Williams and Ranidel de Ocampo paced the second unit with combined 21 markers and nine caroms.
STAR 107 – Ratliffe 37, Lee 17, Simon 12, Ramos 11, Barroca 10, Sangalang 7, Melton 6, Reavis 5, Dela Rosa 2, Abundo 0.
TNT 97 – Greene 29, Rosales 15, Williams 11, Reyes 10, De Ocampo 10, Tautuaa 6, Garcia 6, Hernandez 5, Carey 3, Tamsi 2, Sumalinog 0.
Quarterscores: 22-35, 60-59, 87-79, 107-97.