Meralco Bolts survived a gallant stand by the Star Hotshots and carved out a 91-88 overtime win in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals Thursday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Coming up with big stops and even bigger baskets in the extra period, Meralco was able to complete a three-game sweep of the Hotshots to notch the first finals spot and will now wait for the winner of Ginebra-TNT series.
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham put up 24 points to go with 19 rebounds and six assists, Cliff Hodge had 18 points, including the booming triple he drilled in the last 18 seconds that gave them a six-point cushion, while Ranidel De Ocampo finished with 13 markers.
After wasting away a thirteen-point lead early in the third period and letting Star to finally take the driver’s seat, 79-83, heading into the final two-minute mark of the regulation, the Bolts, behind Amer and Newsome, tied the game at 83-all before delivering the killer blows in overtime.
Jared Dillinger and Ranidel de Ocampo conspired for an 88-83 edge for Meralco as they held the Hotshots scoreless until the last 36 seconds.
It was Rafi Reavis who broke the silence for the Hotshots, cutting the deficit to just three, 88-85, before Cliff Hodge and Mark Barroca exchanged three-pointers and Jio Jalalon failed to create against the outstretched arms of Meralco defenders, as the game clock expired.
Playing without injured Paul Lee, Mark Barroca carried most of the load for the Star Hotshots with a near triple-double of 21 points, 12 boards, and eight assists, as import Kristofer Acox struggled offensively once again, tallying just four points and nine caroms in almost 35 minutes.
MERALCO 91 – Durham 24, Hodge 18, De Ocampo 13, Amer 10, Dillinger 10, Newsome 9, Hugnatan 7, Lanete 0, Tolomia 0.
STAR 88 – Barroca 21, Pingris 16, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 8, Ramos 8, Dela Rosa 7, Reavis 6, Acox 4, Gamalinda 3, Melton 3, Simon 0.
Quarter scores: 30-27, 54-43, 69-68, 83-83, 91-88.